AN entity is a natural sign if by its very nature it represents some other entity or would-be entity. Many different kinds of things are said to represent other things, and in many cases it is recognized that the connection is purely conventional, in others that it is partly conventional being based in some sense on natural relations, and perhaps in yet others purely natural. My thesis is that a thought and a thought alone is, or contains as a constituent, (...) an entity that is a natural sign. This could be denied by rejecting either the existential claim or the uniqueness claim: most who deny it, which appears to be the overwhelming majority of contemporary philosophers who worry about such matters, say that there are no natural signs. As for the uniqueness claim, I shall for the moment merely register my conviction that an entity that is or contains a natural sign is necessarily a state of consciousness, and indeed the common feature of states of consciousness. (shrink)
Behaviorism and the philosophy of the act are widely believed to be inconsistent with one another. I argue that both are true, Fulfilling the requirements of scientific psychology and the phenomenology of mind, Respectively. The key to understanding their mutual consistency lies in the idea of parallelism and its corresponding requirement that all descriptive features of mental states be analyzed as properties, None as relations (to anything physical). So the intentional link itself must be a 'logical' and not a descriptive (...) connection. More broadly, It is required to free the act from its origins in the metaphysical notion of 'activity' and the substance ontology from which that motion derives. (shrink)
Philosophers who hold that the correct ontological analysis of things includes both properties and particulars have often been pressed to "show" the particular. If we are not acquainted with them, it is argued, then we should not suppose that they exist. I argue that, while we do have good and sufficient reasons for supposing there to be particulars, we are not acquainted with them. To suppose that we are acquainted with them is to treat particulars as if they were properties (...) and to fail to realize how radically different particulars are from properties. The relevance of these matters to some considerations of "simplicity" and the principles of empiricism is explored. (shrink)
According to the theory of dispositions here defended, to have a disposition is to have some (non-dispositional) property that enters into a law of a certain form. The theory does not have the crucial difficulty of the singular material implication account of dispositions, but at the same time avoids the unfortunate notion of 'reduction sentences'. It is further argued that no dispositional explanation is one of the covering-law type; but the theory shows how, for any dispositional explanation! To construct a (...) potential explanation of the covering-law type. The theory can also be applied fruitfully to human behavior, especially with respect to the issues of reasons and causes and of' rational' explanation. The success of the applicability of this theory of dispositions is further evidence of its adequacy. (shrink)
One may gather from the arguments of two of the last papers published before his death that J. L. Mackie held the following three theses concerning the mind/body problem : (1) There is a distinct realm of mental properties, so a dualism of properties at least is true and materialism false.
After some opening comments on how I think one should approach the philosophy of mind, I look at what relatively little Gilbert Ryle had to say explicitly about intentionality, that occurring almost exclusively in his several papers on phenomenology. Then, I discuss the notion of intentionality with respect to the doctrines of The Concept of Mind, although neither the word nor the idea, strictly speaking, appears anywhere in the book. Following more exposition of my own views, including an argument I (...) have made for a certain specific theory of intentionality, I close with some reflections on Ryle as a modern-day Aristotelian. (shrink)
Chomsky behauptet, daß das Bewußtsein die Struktur eines grammatischen Übersetzungsapparates hat, Freud dagegen betrachtet es als einen unbewußten Geisteszustand. Es wird gezeigt, wie sich diese Theorien innerhalb einer Metaphysik des Bewußtseins vereinbaren lassen, die nur bewußte Geisteszustände als grundlegend, Sinneswahrnehmungen, Bilder, Emotionen und dergleichen als sekundär, und veranlagungsbedingte Geisteszustände als tertiär bezeichnet. Hervorzuheben wäre, daß grammatische Übersetzungsapparate und unbewußte Geisteszustände, wie alle menschlichen Veranlagungen, als Eigenheiten des Körpers, welcher gewissen Gesetzen und Prinzipien unterliegt, zu analysieren sind.
Gustav Bergmann was, arguably, the greatest ontologist of the twentieth century in pursuing the fundamental questions of first philosophy as deeply as any philosopher of any time. In 2006 and 2007, international conferences devoted solely to Bergmann's work were held at the University of Iowa in the USA, Université de Provence in France, and Università degli Studi Roma Tre in Italy. The papers in this volume were presented at the first of these conferences, in Iowa City, where Bergmann taught for (...) nearly four decades after escaping from Europe, following the dissolution of the Vienna Circle of which he had been the youngest member. There are nine philosophical papers, reminiscences of three of his students, and a complete bibliography of his published writings. (shrink)
Maloney undertakes to defend Sententialism, "a version of the Representational Theory of the Mind... that favors treating mental representations as if they were sentences encoded in the central nervous system...". Arguing initially from perceived similarities between beliefs and declarative sentences and a desire to retain the belief/desire model of explanation, the author disputes especially those who reject "folk psychology" as either an account of what there is or an explanatory model of behavior.
Many believe that the Marxist philosophy of history entails that man is not free in a sense in which it seems obvious that he is. In particular it is held to be (1) materialistic, (2) holistic, (3) economistic, and (4) fatalistic. It is claimed, in short, that since the Marxist philosophy of history has these features, man is not capable of shaping his own (social) destiny if it is true. I show for each of these features either that it does (...) not entail what it is believed to entail or that it is not correctly attributed to the Marxist philosophy of history. (shrink)
Philosophers, social thinkers, and social activists continue to puzzle over the notion of an historical law of development. What this paper attempts is: (1) a statement of what might reasonably be understood by the notion of an historical law of development as well as some historical background to the notion, (2) a discussion of the various logical possibilities regarding the status of historical laws of development, (3) an examination of the views of Karl Popper on historical laws of development and (...) social science, and (4) a suggestion or two concerning the connection between the analysis of the notion of an historical law of development and politics. (shrink)