The Mental and the Physical was first published in 1967. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions. Professor Feigl's essay "The 'Mental' and the 'Physical'" has provoked a great deal of comment, criticism, and discussion since it first appeared as a part of the content of Volume II of the Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science about ten years ago. Now Professor (...) Feigl takes account of the critical discussions and presents his own comments with respect to the most important points raised in the criticisms. The essay itself is presented here in full, along with the postscript. The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science has called the essay "a 'super-colossal' survey of the mind-body problem." In its review of the earlier book containing the essay, Thought said: "This essay deserves careful reading by every philosopher concerned with genuine philosophical dialogue.". (shrink)
The intention of the present essay is to urge a reconsideration of the Realism-Phenomenalism-Issue, mainly and primarily in regard to the interpretation of scientific hypotheses; secondarily also relating to the basic problems of epistemology.
Assuming that the qualities of immediate experience ('sentience') are the subjective aspect of the neurophysiological cerebral processes, And assuming that all behavior is ultimately susceptible to physical explanation, There are a number of ways in which mind-Body monism can be stated. But there are also a number of serious difficulties for a logically coherent formulation of the identity thesis of the mental and the physical.
The mind-body problem is—despite appearances—still the inevitable basic issue of unending discussions in recent philosophy. Various types of epistemologies and metaphysics, European and American, have offered their widely divergent “solutions” of the dreaded Cartesian tangle. Is there any hope of reaching a universally acceptable view?
In this rejoinder to the critical comments elicited by my essay “Existential Hypotheses,” I propose to deal first with the challenge coming from the avowedly different philosophical outlook of Professor Churchman. My other critics, Professors Frank, Hempel, Nagel and Ramsperger, on the whole, share my basic conception of the tasks of philosophy of science and epistemology, even if they dissent in one important respect or another from the special solution I suggested. But since I discern even in Professor Nagel's remarks (...) a pragmatist or instrumentalist strain akin to the major contentions of Professor Churchman, it will be well to begin with a defense and further clarification of my underlying point of view. Only after this restatement of my platform will I undertake to defend semantic realism against the specific criticisms advanced by the last four authors. (shrink)
The purpose of this paper is to make clear that the widely recognized formulations of the principle of induction do not express the most fundamental rule of induction; that the current view concerning the probability of induction must be revised in terms of a frequency theory of probability; that on this basis the problem of induction in its traditional form is a pseudo-problem; and that the principle of induction must be interpreted as a pragmatic or operational maxim.
Mind, Matter, and Method was first published in 1966. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions. This volume of twenty-six essays by as many contributors is published in honor of Herbert Feigl, professor of philosophy at the University of Minnesota and director of the Minnesota Center for the Philosophy of Science. Though the majority of the contributors are philosophers, there are also -- (...) as benefits Mr. Feigl's varied intellectual interests -- representatives of psychology, psychoanalysis, and physics. The first group of ten essays deals with the philosophy of mind, particularly with the mind-body problem, to which Mr. Feigl has devoted much attention. The eleven essays in the second part are concerned with problems of philosophical method, especially with induction and confirmation. The third part is comprised of five essays on the philosophy of the physical sciences. A biographical sketch of Mr. Feigl and a bibliography of his writings are also provided. (shrink)
The title is his own. Herbert Feigl, the provocateur and the soul of modesty, wrote to me some years ago, "I'm more of a catalyst than producer of new and original ideas all my life... ", but then he com pleted the self-appraisal: "... with just a few exceptions perhaps". We need not argue for the creative nature of catalysis, but will simply remark that there are 'new and original ideas' in the twenty-four papers selected for this volume, in the (...) extraordinary aperrus of the 25-year-old Feigl in his Vienna dissertation of 1927 on Zufall und Gesetz, in the creative critique and articulation in his classical monograph of 1958 on The 'Mental' and the 'Physical'; and the reader will want to turn to some of the seventy other titles in our Feigl bibliography appended. Professor Feigl has been a model philosophical worker: above all else, honest, self-aware, open-minded and open-hearted; keenly, devotedly, and even arduously the student of the sciences, he has been a logician and an empiricist. Early on, he brought the Vienna Circle to America, and much later he helped to bring it back to Central Europe. The story of the logical empiricist movement, and of Herbert Feigl's part in it, has often been told, importantly by Feigl himself in four papers we have included here. (shrink)
2. In the first place, the term "power" is used to refer to processes which are held to go on at particular times, and to be accessible to direct experience. It is not clear to me why our experiences of activity are not "explicit", or why they are not to be regarded as manifested to the senses ; but possibly these assertions could be defended on the ground that the experiences in question are phenomenologically distinctive in some way.
A practical or pragmatic justification applies to actions. The action concerned in the case of induction is the making of predictions, and—philosophically of prime importance—the adoption of such rules of procedure as will make the predictions maximally successful. Clearly all ordinary cases of the justification of actions utilize, and in this sense presuppose, inductions. When philosophers ask for a ground of induction in general the answer cannot be inductive evidence. This would be plainly circular or lead to an infinite regress. (...) Hence we are here dealing with a limiting or degenerate case of justification. It is true that one important component of the meaning of such words as “reasonable” or “rational” is indeed the employment of inductive procedures. Many analytic philosophers rest their case right here and consider the quest for a justification of induction as a pseudo problem because, in their view, this quest comes down to asking “is it reasonable to be reasonable?” But—because of an ambiguity of the term “reasonable”—it is precisely here where the distinction between validation and vindication is helpful and points the way to one more step that can be taken in the overall justification of inductive inference. (shrink)
At the risk of being ostracized (if not annihilated) by the community of Popperians present, I wish to remark that Professor Lakatos is - and, I think - cannot help being, a second-level inductivist. If Professor Kuhn has pointed out (most eruditely) that science quite frequently is in a rut, and occasionally gets out of it (and into a new one), then Professor Lakatos appraises problem and theory shifts, and methodological innova- tions in the sciences, in the light of his (...) criteria of 'progress' or 'degenera- tion'. There can be little doubt that he wishes to serve (at least) in a critical and/or advisory capacity to scientists. But he can do that only if he 'places his bets', i.e., conjectures as to the fruitfulness of a method, and along with it of a theory engendered or supported by such a method along the lines of success or failure, whichever may be plausibly indicated. I find Professor Lakatos's refutations of simple inductivism (here he agrees with Popper), as well as of simple falsificationism (here he disagrees with a caricature of the early Popper), completely convincing. But if he is to fulfill the critical and/or advisory functions, what else can he do but watch the course of the 'shifts' and extrapolate?! (shrink)