Thinking, Language, and Experience [Book Review]

Review of Metaphysics 44 (3):618-620 (1991)
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This is an extensive and diffuse collection of essays woven together by a number of leitmotifs. It is a work by a technically virtuosic professional philosopher for readers with the same credentials; even many of the complicated examples use extensive insider information about the institution of professional analytic philosophy in the last half of the twentieth century in the United States. In the sequence of its chapters, we see a development that in some ways mirrors Castañeda's philosophical career and topics of active thought. Namely, Part 1 of the book, embracing 4 chapters, is devoted to linguistic phenomena--broadly to issues of reference, but with special attention to indexicals and what Castaneda has called "quasi-indexicals." It reads very difficultly for anyone not steeped in recent issues in the philosophy of language. Many elements of this work, might seem at first a rather slender basis on which to found a broader philosophy of mind, experience, and the world in the tradition of modern philosophy. But this is precisely what Castaneda has done in his career and in this volume. His earlier analyses of complex referential phenomena form the unlikely springboard for far-flung reflections in epistemology, phenomenology, metaphysics, and, especially, the philosophy of mind.



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Randall Dipert
PhD: Indiana University, Bloomington; Last affiliation: University at Buffalo

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