Approach to Intentionality is an authoritative and accessible account of a problem central to contemporary philosopy of mind. Lyons first gives a critical survey of the current debate about the nature of intentionality, then moves on to offer an original new theory. The book is written throughout in a clear, direct, and lively style.
Drawing on work in psychophysics, psychometrics, and sensory neurophysiology, Clark analyzes the character and defends the integrity of psychophysical explanations of qualitative facts, arguing that the structure of such explanations is sound and potentially successful.
Contemporary philosophy and theoretical psychology are dominated by an acceptance of content-externalism: the view that the contents of one's mental states are constitutively, as opposed to causally, dependent on facts about the external world. In the present work, it is shown that content-externalism involves a failure to distinguish between semantics and pre-semantics---between, on the one hand, the literal meanings of expressions and, on the other hand, the information that one must exploit in order to ascertain their literal meanings. It is (...) further shown that, given the falsity of content-externalism, the falsity of the Computational Theory of Mind (CTM) follows. It is also shown that CTM involves a misunderstanding of terms such as "computation," "syntax," "algorithm," and "formal truth." Novel analyses of the concepts expressed by these terms are put forth. These analyses yield clear, intuition-friendly, and extensionally correct answers to the questions "what are propositions?, "what is it for a proposition to be true?", and "what are the logical and psychological differences between conceptual (propositional) and non-conceptual (non-propositional) content?" Naively taking literal meaning to be in lockstep with cognitive content, Burge, Salmon, Falvey, and other semantic externalists have wrongly taken Kripke's correct semantic views to justify drastic and otherwise contraindicated revisions of commonsense. (Salmon: What is non-existent exists; at a given time, one can rationally accept a proposition and its negation. Burge: Somebody who is having a thought may be psychologically indistinguishable from somebody who is thinking nothing. Falvey: somebody who rightly believes himself to be thinking about water is psychologically indistinguishable from somebody who wrongly thinks himself to be doing so and who, indeed, isn't thinking about anything.) Given a few truisms concerning the differences between thought-borne and sentence-borne information, the data is easily modeled without conceding any legitimacy to any one of these rationality-dismantling atrocities. (It thus turns out, ironically, that no one has done more to undermine Kripke's correct semantic points than Kripke's own followers!). (shrink)
One of the most influential thinkers of the 20th century, Sir Karl Popper here examines the problems connected with human freedom, creativity, rationality and the relationship between human beings and their actions. In this illuminating series of papers, Popper suggests a theory of mind-body interaction that relates to evolutionary emergence, human language and what he calls "the three worlds." Rene; Descartes first posited the existence of two worlds--the world of physical bodies and the world of mental states. Popper argues for (...) the existence of "world 3" which comprises the products of our human minds. He examines the interaction between mental states--hopes, needs, plans, ideologies or hypotheses--and the physical states of our brain. Popper forcefully argues against the materialism forwarded by many philosophers which denies the existence of mental states. Instead, he demonstrates that the problem of the interaction between mental and physical states remains unresolved. Knowledge and the Body-Mind Problem is based on Popper's never-before published lectures at Emory University in 1969. Popper has extensively revised the lectures but has retained their accessible format. He has also incorporated some of the discussions which followed the lectures, providing an engaging exchange between the philosopher and his audience. (shrink)
In this study, George Rudebusch addresses whether Socrates was a hedonist--whether he believed pleasure to be the good. In attempting to locate Socrates' position on hedonism, Rudebusch examines the passages in Plato's early dialogues that are the most disputed on the topic. He maintains that Socrates identifies pleasant activity with virtuous activity, describing Socrates' hedonism as one of activity, not sensation. This analysis allows for Socrates to find both virtue and pleasure to be the good, thus solving the textual puzzle (...) and showing the power of Socratic argument in leading human beings toward the good. (shrink)
In The Nature of Consciousness, Mark Rowlands develops an innovative and radical account of the nature of phenomenal consciousness, one that has significant consequences for attempts to find a place for it in the natural order. The most significant feature of consciousness is its dual nature: consciousness can be both the directing of awareness and that upon which awareness is directed. Rowlands offers a clear and philosophically insightful discussion of the main positions in this fast-moving debate, and argues that the (...) phenomenal aspects of conscious experience are aspects that exist only in the directing of experience towards non-phenomenal objects, a theory that undermines reductive attempts to explain consciousness in terms of what is not conscious. His book will be of interest to a wide range of readers in the philosophy of mind and language, psychology, and cognitive science. (shrink)
This comprehensive textbook, written by a leading author in the field, provides a survey of mainstream conceptions of the nature of mind accessible to readers with little or no background in philosophy. Included are the dualist, behaviourist, and functionalist accounts of the nature of mind, along with a critical assessment of recent trends in the subject. The problem of consciousness, widely thought to be the chief roadblock to our understanding of the mind, is addressed throughout the book and there is (...) also material to interest those with a professional interest in the topic - philosophers, psychologists and neuroscientists - as well as the general reader. Unique features of Philosophy of Mind : * provides a comprehensive survey of basic concepts and major theories * contains many lucid examples to support ideas * cites key literature in annotated suggested reading and a full bibliography * contains a full index including the location of key terms and concepts. (shrink)
This second volume in the Limits and Renewals trilogy is an attempt to restate a traditional philosophy of mind, drawing on philosophical and poetical resources that are often neglected in modern and postmodern thought, and emphasizing the moral and political implications of differing philosophies of mind and value. Clark argues that without the traditional concept of the soul, we have little reason to believe that rational thought and individual autonomy are either possible or desirable. The particular topics covered include the (...) political context of identity claims, the possibility of knowledge and the dangers of curiosity, the fear of death, the philoprogenitive gene, and the mind-body problem. (shrink)
The basic idea of the particular way of understanding mental phenomena that has inspired the "cognitive revolution" is that, as a result of certain relatively recent intellectual and technological innovations, informed theorists now possess a more powerfully insightful comparison or model for mind than was available to any thinkers in the past. The model in question is that of software, or the list of rules for input, output, and internal transformations by which we determine and control the workings of a (...) computing machine's hardware. Although this comparison and its many implications have dominated work in the philosophy, psychology, and neurobiology of mind since the end of the Second World War, it now shows increasing signs of losing its once virtually unquestioned preeminence. Thus we now face the question of whether it is possible to repair and save this model by means of relatively inessential "tinkering", or whether we must reconceive it fundamentally and replace it with something different. In this book, twenty-eight leading scholars from diverse fields of "cognitive science"-linguistics, psychology, neurophysiology, and philosophy- present their latest, carefully considered judgements about what they think will be the future course of this intellectual movement, that in many respects has been a watershed in our contemporary struggles to comprehend that which is crucially significant about human beings. Jerome Bruner, Noam Chomsky, Margaret Boden, Ulric Neisser, Rom Harre, Merlin Donald, among others, have all written chapters in a non-technical style that can be enjoyed and understood by an inter-disciplinary audience of psychologists, philosophers, anthropologists, linguists, and cognitive scientists alike. (shrink)
Are any of our beliefs justified? Are they rational? The skeptic thinks that our epistemic justifications are undeserved. Nicholas Nathan confronts the skeptic and questions the value of his argument. Skeptical arguments are against justified and rational belief as well as for ignorance. Nathan argues that the truth value of trivial arguments are a matter of indifference. He tests this conjecture with a varied collection of counterexamples: arguments for ignorance, neo-Cartesian and infinite regress arguments, and also more critically with arguments (...) against justified and rational belief. (shrink)
A theory of understanding -- Truth's role in understanding -- Critique of justificationist and evidential accounts -- Do pragmatist views avoid this critique? -- A realistic account -- How evidence and truth are related -- Three grades of involvement of truth in theories of understanding -- Anchoring -- Next steps -- Reference and reasons -- The main thesis and its location -- Exposition and four argument-types -- Significance and consequences of the main thesis -- The first person as a case (...) study -- Fully self-conscious thought -- Immunity to error through misidentification relative to the first person -- Can a use of the first-person concept fail to refer? -- Some conceptual roles are distinctive but not fundamental -- Implicit conceptions -- Implicit conceptions : motivation and examples -- Deflationary readings rejected -- The phenomenon of new principles -- Explanation by implicit conceptions -- Rationalist aspects -- Consequences : rationality, justification, understanding -- Transitional -- Applications to mental concepts -- Conceiving of conscious states -- Understanding and identity in other cases -- Constraints on legitimate explanations in terms of identity -- Why is the subjective case different? -- Attractions of the interlocking account -- Tacit knowledge, and externalism about the internal -- Is this the myth of the given? -- Knowledge of others' conscious states -- Communicability : between Frege and Wittgenstein -- Conclusions and significance -- 'Another I' : representing perception and action -- The core rule -- Modal status and its significance -- Comparisons -- The possession-condition and some empirical phenomena -- The model generalized -- Wider issues -- Mental action -- The distinctive features of action-awareness -- The nature and range of mental actions -- The principal hypothesis and its grounds -- The principal hypothesis : distinctions and consequences -- How do we know about our own mental actions? -- Concepts of mental actions and their epistemological significance -- Is this account open to the same objections as perceptual models of introspection? -- Characterizing and unifying schizophrenic experience -- The first person in the self-ascription of action -- Rational agency and action-awareness -- Representing thoughts -- The puzzle -- A proposal -- How the solution treats the constraints that generate the puzzle -- Relation to single-level treatments -- An application : reconciling externalism with distinctive self-knowledge. (shrink)
The emotions have been one of the most fertile areas of study in psychology, neuroscience, and other cognitive disciplines. Yet as influential as the work in those fields is, it has not yet made its way to the desks of philosophers who study the nature of mind. Passionate Engines unites the two for the first time, providing both a survey of what emotions can tell us about the mind, and an argument for how work in the cognitive disciplines can help (...) us develop new ways of understanding the mind as a whole. Craig DeLancey shows that our best philosophical and scientific understanding of the emotions provides essential insights on key issues in the philosophy of mind and artificial intelligence: intentionality, aesthetics, rationality, action theory, moral psychology, consciousness, ontology and autonomy. He provides an accessible overview of the science of emotion, explaining with minimal jargon the technical issues that arise. The book also offers new ways to understand the mind, suggesting that it is autonomy--and not cognition--that should be the core problem of the philosophy of mind, cognitive science, and artificial intelligence. DeLancey argues that the philosophy of mind has been held back by an impoverished view of naturalism, and that a proper appreciation of the complexity of the sciences of mind, readily demonstrated by the science of emotion, will overcome this. Passionate Engines provides a unique, contemporary view of the link between science and philosophy, offering a bold new way of looking at the mind for scholars in a range of disciplines. Its accessible and refreshing approach will appeal to philosophers, psychologists, computer scientists, others in the cognitive disciplines, and lay people interested in the mind. (shrink)
Frontiers of Consciousness is a study of the problem of consciousness in a historic period of revolutionary change, and an authentic example of “interdisciplinary studies.” The book contains a wealth of insight into the conceptual interrelationships between the work of the American philosophers who have been called the Builders (William James, Josiah Royce, Charles Peirce, and John Dewey) and the work of three great modernist poets (T. S. Eliot, Wallace Stevens, and William Carlos Williams).
Nelson, L. The impossibility of the "Theory of knowledge."--Moore, G. E. Four forms of skepticism.--Lehrer, K. Skepticism & conceptual change.--Quine, W. V. Epistemology naturalized.--Rozeboom, W. W. Why I know so much more than you do.--Price, H. H. Belief and evidence.--Lewis, C. I. The bases of empirical knowledge.--Malcolm, N. The verification argument.--Firth, R. The anatomy of certainty.--Chisholm, R. M. On the nature of empirical evidence.--Meinong, A. Toward an epistemological assessment of memory.--Brandt, R. The epistemological status of memory beliefs.--Malcolm, N. A definition (...) of factual memory.--Martin, C. B. and Deutscher, M. Remembering.--Ayer, A. J. Basic propositions.--Reichenbach, H. Are phenomenal reports absolutely certain?--Goodman, N. Sense and certainty.--Lewis, C. I. The given element in empirical knowledge.--Alston, W. Varieties of privileged access.--Schlick, M. The foundation of knowledge.--Russell, B. Epistemological premisses, basic propositions, and factual premisses.--Firth, R. Coherence, certainty, and epistemic priority.--Sellars, W. Empiricism and the philosophy of mind.--Quinton, A. The foundations of knowledge. (shrink)
Since Descartes, the mind has been thought to be "in the head," separable from the world and even from the body it inhabits. In The Mind and its World , Gregory McCulloch considers the latest debates in philosophy and cognitive science about whether the thinking subject actually requires an environment in order to be able to think. McCulloch explores the mind/body duality from the Enlightenment to the 20th century. He examines such figures as Descartes, Frege, Locke, and Wittgenstein. His method (...) is comparative, and his insights are illuminating. By pitting Descartes against such thinkers as Wittgenstein and Frege, McCulloch produces a dynamic account of the implications of the Descartian argument about consciousness and the mind. The contrast evolves into McCulloch's original theory of externalism, the notion that the mind is not in the head, and is constituted by environmental, and linguistic object relations. The Mind and its World is a clearand compelling reading of the one of the dominant elements and debates within Western philosophy. Its synthesis of the arguments and controversies will make this book necessary reading for the general reader who is interested in the claims the Enlightenment and its aftermath have made about consciousness, our "minds", and even our brains._. (shrink)
Contemporary Materialism presents an important collection of recent work on materialism in connection with metaphysics, philosophy of language, philosophy of mind and theories of value. This anthology charts the contemporary problems, positions and themes on the topic of materialism. It illuminates materialism's complex intersection with related subjects such as cognition and psychology. By gathering a wide-range of philosophical interventions around the subject of materialism, this anthology provides a valuable discussion of how materialism can effectively serve the purposes of philosophical assessment. (...) To further assist the reader, it also contains an extensive bibliography on contemporary materialism. (shrink)
This collection of articles pays homage to the creativity and scientific rigor Jerome Singer has brought to the study of consciousness and play. It will interest personality, social, clinical and developmental psychologists alike.
Edited proceedings of an interdisciplinary symposium on consciousness held at the University of Cambridge in January 1978. Includes a foreword by Freeman Dyson. Chapter authors: G. Vesey, R.L. Gregory, H.C. Longuet-Higgins, N.K. Humphrey, H.B. Barlow, D.M. MacKay, B.D. Josephson, M. Roth, V.S. Ramachandran, S. Padfield, and (editorial summary only) E. Noakes. A scanned pdf is available from this web site (philpapers.org), while alternative versions more suitable for copying text are available from repository.cam.ac.uk via the link provided on this page. -/- (...) Page numbering convention for the pdf version viewed in a pdf viewer is as follows: 'go to page n' accesses the pair of scanned pages 2n and 2n+1. Applicable licence: CC Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0. (shrink)
Many people throughout the course of human history, across all human cultures, have believed themselves to be distinct from their physical bodies, and have used this belief to ground a hope for some form of life after death. The nature of the mind examines whether, and if so how, such beliefs can be rationally grounded. Clearly written and rigorously presented, this book is intended for use in undergraduate courses in philosophy of mind. Main topics covered include: · the problem of (...) other minds, · the dualist/physicalist debate · the nature of personal identity and survival · mental-state concepts The book closes with a number of pointers towards more advanced work in the subject, especially concerning recent debates about intentionality and consciousness. (shrink)
Some of a person's mental states have the power to represent real and imagined states of affairs: they have semantic properties. What Minds Can Do has two goals: to find a naturalistic or non-semantic basis for the representational powers of a person's mind, and to show that these semantic properties are involved in the causal explanation of the person's behaviour. In the process, the book addresses issues that are central to much contemporary philosophical debate. It will be of interest to (...) a wide range of readers in philosophy of mind and of language, cognitive science, and psychology. (shrink)