SUPPOSE that I report that I have at this moment a roundish, blurry-edged after-image which is yellowish towards its edge and is orange towards its centre. What is it that I am reporting?l One answer to this question might be that I am not reporting anything, that when I say that it looks to me as though there is a roundish yellowy orange patch of light On the wall I am expressing some sort of temptation, the temptation to say that (...) there is a roundish yellowy orange patch on the wall. This is perhaps Wittgenstein's view in the Philosophical Investigations. Similarly, when I "report" a pain, I am not really reporting anything, but am doing a sophisticated sort of wince. 2 I prefer most of the time to discuss an afterimage rather than a pain, because the word "pain" brings in something which is irrelevant to my purpose: the notion of "distress." I think that "he is in pain" entails "he is in distress," that is, that he is in a certain agitation-condition.3 Similarly, to say "I am in pain" may be to do more than "replace pain behavior": it may be partly to report something, though this something is quite nonmysterious, being an agitation-condition, and so susceptible of behavioristic analysis. The suggestion I wish if possible to avoid is a different one, namely that "I am in pain" is a genuine report, and that what it reports is an irreducibly psychical something. And similarly the suggestion I wish to resist is also that to say "I have a yellowish orange after-image" is to report something irreducibly psychical. (shrink)
Originally published in 1963. In an introductory chapter the author argues that philosophy ought to be more than the art of clarifying thought and that it should concern itself with outlining a scientifically plausible world view. Early chapters deal with phenomenalism and the reality of theoretical entities, and with the relation between the physical and biological sciences. Free will, issues of time and space and man’s place in nature are covered in later chapters.
The identity theory of mind holds that states and processes of the mind are identical to states and processes of the brain. Strictly speaking, it need not hold that the mind is identical to the brain. Idiomatically we do use ‘She has a good mind’ and ‘She has a good brain’ interchangeably but we would hardly say ‘Her mind weighs fifty ounces’. Here I take identifying mind and brain as being a matter of identifying processes and perhaps states of the (...) mind and brain. Consider an experience of pain, or of seeing something, or of having a mental image. The identity theory of mind is to the effect that these experiences just are brain processes, not merely correlated with brain processes. (shrink)
In this article I try to refute the so-called "libertarian" theory of free will, and to examine how our conclusion ought to modify our common attitudes of praise and blame. In attacking the libertarian view, I shall try to show that it cannot be consistently stated. That is, my dscussion will be an "analytic-philosophic" one. I shall neglect what I think is in practice an equally powerful method of attack on the libertarian: a challenge to state his theory in such (...) a way that it will fit in the modern biology and psychology, which are becoming increasingly physicalistic. (shrink)
Biologists and economists use models to study complex systems. This similarity between these disciplines has led to an interesting development: the borrowing of various components of model-based theorizing between the two domains. A major recent example of this strategy is economists’ utilization of the resources of evolutionary biology in order to construct models of economic systems. This general strategy has come to be called evolutionary economics and has been a source of much debate among economists. Although philosophers have developed literatures (...) on the nature of models and modeling, the unique issues surrounding this kind of interdisciplinary model building have yet to be independently investigated. In this paper, we utilize evolutionary economics as a case study in the investigation of more general issues concerning interdisciplinary modeling. We begin by critiquing the distinctions currently used within the evolutionary economics literature and propose an alternative carving of the conceptual terrain. We then argue that the three types of evolutionary economics we distinguish capture distinctions that will be important whenever resources of model-based theorizing are borrowed across distinct scientific domains. Our analysis of these model-building strategies identifies several of the unique methodological and philosophical issues that confront interdisciplinary modeling. (shrink)
It has been said that physicalism is an empty doctrine, Because if new forces are needed to explain biological or psychological phenomena they will have to be incorporated into physics. In reply it is argued that we can tie physicalism to present day physics. There may be revolutionary changes in physics but these are likely to affect only the field of elementary particles and cosmology. Our understanding of such things as the nervous system or of protein molecules is unlikely to (...) be affected. (shrink)
The main purpose of this paper is to seek a reconciliation between two apparently conflicting views of mine. I have argued (for example, Smart, 1963) for realism about theoretical entities, for example electrons, protons, photons, possibly space-time points, perhaps the ‘Y’-wave of Schrödinger’s equation and so on. Quine has also plausibly argued that we should believe in mathematical entities, since in physics we quantify over them no less than over electrons and protons. I except cases in which in physics the (...) existential quantifications are part of merely pretence discourse. Perhaps in spherical astronomy talk of the celestial sphere should be treated in this way. Alternatively the celestial sphere could be thought of realistically as a sphere whose centre is that of the earth while the stars and planets are thought of (or correlated with) points or small areas on the sphere’s surface in their lines of sight. I am not concerned in this paper to delimit fact from fiction in scientific discourse. The settlement of borderline disputes can wait for another occasion. My main argument for scientific realism is the cosmic coincidence argument. Would it not be a cosmic coincidence if the world were merely as if there were electrons, protons, etc?1. (shrink)
REMARKS ON EVOLUTION AND TIME-SCALES, Graham Cairns-Smith; HODGSON'S BLACK BOX, Thomas Clark; DO HODGSON'S PROPOSITIONS UNIQUELY CHARACTERIZE FREE WILL?, Ravi Gomatam; WHAT SHOULD WE RETAIN FROM A PLAIN PERSON'S CONCEPT OF FREE WILL?, Gilberto Gomes; ISOLATING DISPARATE CHALLENGES TO HODGSON'S ACCOUNT OF FREE WILL, Liberty Jaswal; FREE AGENCY AND LAWS OF NATURE, Robert Kane; SCIENCE VERSUS REALIZATION OF VALUE, NOT DETERMINISM VERSUS CHOICE, Nicholas Maxwell; COMMENTS ON HODGSON, J.J.C. Smart; THE VIEW FROM WITHIN, Sean Spence; COMMENTARY ON HODGSON, Henry Stapp.
These comments are concerned to show that direct realism about perception is quite compatible with the physical and neuroscientific story. Use is made of D.M. Armstrong's account of perception as coming to believe by means of the senses. What we come to believe about is the bird on the gatepost, say. So the account is direct realist. But it is obviously compatible with the scientific story which explains how the coming to believe comes about. We can also identify beliefs with (...) brain states. (shrink)
It is characteristic of realists to separate ontology from epistemology and of idealists to mix the two things up. By ‘idealists’ here I am mainly referring to the British neo-Hegelians but the charge of mixing up ontology and epistemology can be made against at least one ‘subjective idealist’, namely Bishop Berkeley, as his wellknown dictum ‘esse ispercipi’ testifies. The objective idealists rejected the correspondence theory of truth and on the whole accepted a coherence theory. The qualification is needed here because (...) H. H. Joachim, in The Nature of Truth, found the coherence theory unable to deal with the problem of error. (shrink)