I defend a version of color subjectivism — that colors are sortals for certain neural events — by arguing against a sophisticated form of color objectivism and by showing how a subjectivist can legitimately explain the phenomenal fact that colors seem to be properties of external objects.
Noam Chomsky has made major contributions to three fields: political history and analysis, linguistics, and the philosophies of mind, language, and human nature. In this thoroughly revised and updated volume, James McGilvray provides a critical introduction to Chomsky's work in these three key areas and assesses their continuing importance and relevance for today. In an incisive and comprehensive analysis, McGilvray argues that Chomsky’s work can be seen as a unified intellectual project. He shows how Chomsky adapts the tools of natural (...) science to the study of mind and of language in particular and explains why Chomsky's "rationalist" approach to the mind continues to be opposed by the majority of contemporary cognitive scientists. The book also discusses some of Chomsky’s central political themes in depth, examining how Chomsky's view of the good life and the ideal form of social organization is related to and in part dependent on his biologically based account of human nature and the place of language within it. As in the first edition, McGilvray emphasizes the distinction between common sense and science and the difference between rationalist and empiricist approaches to the mind, making clear the importance of these themes for understanding Chomsky's work and showing that they are based on elementary observations that are accessible to everyone. This edition has been extensively re-written to emphasize Chomsky's recent work, which increasingly 'biologizes' the study of language and mind and - by implication - the study of human nature. This book will be of interest to students and scholars of philosophy, linguistics, and politics, as well as to all those keen to develop a critical understanding of one of the most controversial and important thinkers writing today. (shrink)
This paper defends physical becoming against Grünbaum's attack, by constructing three arguments in favor of physical becoming. Of the three, I rely primarily on an argument from the philosophy of language, and especially on the principle that tensed discourse involves presuppositions and commitments that Grünbaum's account of becoming cannot handle. I show that Grünbaum's analysis of becoming can provide only a very implausible reconstruction of the temporal coordination of speakers engaged in discourse.
In this paper I attempt a new approach to an old technical term: becoming. I show how the theory that becoming is coming-to-be could be supported by a semantic derivation of the nominalization becoming from its verbal counterpart, by investigating the properties of the present progressive constructions in which becoming as a verbal appears. My theory denies that dates, or qualitative change, play an essential role in the analysis of becoming.