It is widely agreed that Bertrand Russell's rejection of British Idealism helped to shape his version of analytic philosophy. In this paper I argue that Russell's objections to Herbert Spencer's views, particularly to his "evolutionism," also contributed in important ways to the shape that his philosophy took. Russell's preference for timeless truth, his insistence on mathematical physics rather than biology as the science relevant to philosophy, and his particular versions of atomism, all show that influence of his rejection of the (...) Spencerian philosophy. (shrink)
Theories of intentionality need to account for non-cognitive states like emotions as well as cognitive states like beliefs. When certain non-cognitive states are included, one can formulate a feasible physicalist account of intentionality that highlights its evolutionary roots. I argue that recent experimental data support just such a move.
I argue against the claim of certain functionalists, like Jerry Fodor, that theories of psychological states ought to abstract from the physiology of the systems that exhibit such states. Taking seriously Darwin’s claim that living organisms struggle to survive, and that their “mental powers” are adaptations that assist them in this struggle, I argue that not only emotions but also paradigm cognitive states like beliefs are intimately bound up with the physiology of the organism and its efforts to maintain its (...) own well-being. I defend the definitional aspirations of functionalism but reject its attempt at ontological neutrality. (shrink)