Is our logical form of thought merely one among many, or must it be the form of thought as such? From Kant to Wittgenstein, philosophers have wrestled with variants of this question. This volume brings together nine distinguished thinkers on the subject, including James Conant, author of the seminal paper "The Search for Logically Alien Thought.".
Pre-reflective Consciousness: Sartre and Contemporary Philosophy of Mind delves into the relations between the current debates on consciousness within analytical philosophy and the debates taking place in continental philosophy in the twentieth century and in particular within the work of Sartre. Examining the return of the problem of subjectivity in philosophy of mind and the idea that phenomenal consciousness could not be reduced to functional or cognitive properties this volume aims to rethink borders between what counts as ‘inner’ and ‘outer’ (...) when the nature of the mental is at stake. (shrink)
In this article I discuss Daniel Dennett’s view of the role of natural language in the evolution of the human mind. In contrast with defenders of the Language of Thought Hypothesis, Dennett claims that natural language is an evolved tool for communication, originating in behavioural habits of which users were initially not aware. Once in place, such habits changed access to information in human brains and were crucial for the evolution of human consciousness. I assess Dennett’s approach from the viewpoint (...) of philosophy of mind and language and consider its ontological implications. I contrast Dennett’s views with the universalist and internalist claims of Jerry Fodor and Noam Chomsky and show how, by appealing to memes and cultural evolution, Dennett resists such claims. I then analyse how this picture goes together with a deflationary view of consciousness. I end by pointing out that although Dennett’s global picture seems to point towards a pluralistic ontology, he himself refrains from taking such a step. (shrink)
The contours of contemporary philosophy are difficult to trace. How can we orient ourselves among authors such as Husserl, Heidegger, Sartre, Merleau-Ponty, Levinas, Gadamer, Ricoeur, Foucault, Derrida, Adorno, Benjamin, Deleuze, Agamben, Zizek, Badiou , Frege, Russell, Wittgenstein, Quine, Austin, Putnam, Davidson, Rorty, Kripke, McDowell or Cavell? How can we orient ourselves among terms such as phenomenology, analytical philosophy, existentialism, pragmatism, feminism, postmodernism, Nietzscheanism, naturalism, materialism or cognitivism? Presenting a journey through figures and movements of contemporary philosophy, this book suggests an (...) answer, supporting the reader's personal exploration. (shrink)
Hilary Putnam and Cora Diamond both wrote on Wittgenstein’s Three Lectures on Religious Belief. They did it quite differently; my ultimate aim in this article is to explore this difference. Putnam’s view of religion is largely a view of ethical life; I look thus into his writings on ethics and his proposals to face the relativist menace therein. Still, in his incursions into philosophy of religion, describing religious experience through authors such as Rosenzweig, Buber, or Levinas, Putnam deals with what (...) Diamond calls, after Wittgenstein, “the gulfs between us.” Such gulfs, and the threat of relativism they bring, need to be accounted for. With that purpose in mind I complement Putnam’s reading of the Three Lectures with Diamond’s own reading. (shrink)
My main goal in this article is methodological: I want to spell out how a Kantian perspective could accommodate current empirical work on cognition, and in particular on emotion. Having chosen John McDowell as a guide, I try to characterize his view of moral experience and underline its Kantian traits. I start by identifying the conception of freedom as exemplified in the rational wolf thought experiment in Two Forms of Naturalism as the main Kantian trait. I then go through the (...) characterization of two other crucial aspects of our moral experience – reasons and value. I suggest that McDowell’s approach to moral experience, although not itself strictly Kantian in all of its details, is an instance of a transformative view of rationality, as defended by Matthew Boyle and that such transformative view is the key to accommodate empirical research on cognition within a Kantian perspective. (shrink)
Although many philosophers have, throughout history, regarded themselves as answering the skeptic, the question arises whether answering the skeptic is the thing to do. If not, the question becomes how else to respond to her. Wittgenstein-inspired stances are, in general, therapeutic. In this article I focus on the problem of other minds in order to analyze and compare the different shapes such therapeutic stances may have. I begin by showing how crucial resisting the temptation to answer the skeptic was for (...) John McDowell’s early formulations of disjunctivism in the 1980s. In his article “Criteria, Defeasibility, and Knowledge” I identify substantial positions such as the rejection of highest common factor views, the diagnosis of the connection between such highest common factor views and an conception of appearances, as well as the proposal of a non-Cartesian, or modest, approach to indistinguishability for a subject. Whatever his success in these other enterprises, McDowell continues to regard both the temptation to answer the skeptic and a substitute therapeutic stance as epistemologically motivated. But if skepticism is more than an intellectual conundrum, as maintained by Stanley Cavell, the source of such temptation has to be considered in a completely different light. (shrink)
Within current philosophy of perception John McDowell has for quite some time been defending a view inspired by Kant. Charles Travis opposes such view and counters it with his own, Frege-inspired, approach. By analysing the clash between Travis’ idea of the silence of the senses and McDowell’s idea of intuitional content, the present article aims to characterize the core of their divergence regarding the nature of perceptual judgement. It also aims at presenting their engagement as a reformulated version of the (...) debate around conceptual and nonconceptual content of perception, bringing forth some of its stakes. Such reformulated version of the debate makes it possible to bring out what a Kantian position on representation, consciousness and appearances ultimately amounts to, as well as to identify a particular angle of criticism to it. (shrink)
In this article I focus on Cavell’s theme of finding one’s voice, as it is articulated with reference to the philosophies of language of Wittgenstein and Austin. I start by spelling out Cavell’s Wittgensteinian-Austinian view of culture as the background for his approach to aesthetics and ethics. I then set out to explore the work done by the theme in aesthetics and ethics around the notion claim. I argue that Cavell’s effort to counter the pull of non-cognitivism in aesthetics and (...) ethics, building on the notion claim, is not only illuminating of his unique way of inheriting the history of analytic philosophy but also gives us a glimpse of where and how Continental and analytic philosophy may again cross paths in the future. (shrink)
In this article the authors identify and analyse points of agreement and disagreement between Michael Ayers and Charles Travis, starting from their views on ‘things before us’. The authors then try to spell out what separates these philosophers in matters concerning perception, knowledge and language. In spite of their both being self-professed realists, equally critical of conceptualism and representationalism, Ayers’ empiricism and Travis’ anti-empiricism lead them to different positions in these three areas. It is shown that in the case of (...) Ayers they hinge on “ordinary” objects and a KK principle (knowledge that and how we know), whereas in the case of Travis they are articulated around occasion-sensitivity and anti-psychologism. (shrink)
All of Stanley Cavell's work, whether its topic is Shakespeare's or Beckett's theatre, Hollywood cinema, Caro's sculpture or Derrida's deconstruction, rests on the philosophies of language of Wittgenstein and Austin and on the vision that in these one finds the life of human animals in language and culture. Behind the question "What is art?" Thus, in Cavell, questions such as: How does one enter language? What is speaking on one's own behalf? How is it possible to escape from inexpressiveness? What (...) does it mean to speak for others with whom we consent to associate? What is recognizing others, being recognized by them, or recognizing a community? What responsibility do I have for the way language means? What is consent and dissent? How do you come to have, not just your own voice, but a voice capable of articulating something new, for example, artistically new? How can that voice ever be shared? (shrink)
INTRODUÇÃO À TEORIA DA MENTE E DO CONHECIMENTO - PARTE II ( ASPECTOS HISTÓRICOS)76 Resumo: A história esquemática da teoria da mente e do conhecimento que a seguir se apresenta - necessariamente parcial na escolha ...
O presente manual tem como intenção constituir um guia para uma disciplina introdutória de filosofia da linguagem. Foi elaborado a partir da leccionação da disciplina de Filosofia da Linguagem I na Faculdade de Letras da Universidade do Porto desde 2001. A disciplina de Filosofia da Linguagem I ocupa um semestre lectivo e proporciona aos estudantes o primeiro contacto sistemático com a área da filosofia da linguagem. Pretende-se que este manual ofereça aos estudantes os instrumentos necessários não apenas para acompanhar uma (...) iniciação ao campo da filosofia da linguagem mas também para o estudo e a investigação autónomos posteriores. Para isso é percorrido um trajecto que conduz das intuições pré-teóricas acerca de linguagem, de que todos dispomos, até um conhecimento disciplinar específico, histórico e temático, da filosofia da linguagem. Em termos práticos, são considerados como precedentes da disciplina de Filosofia da Linguagem I – mesmo se, pelo existem actualmente precedências em sentido estrito – as disciplinas de Lógica I e II e de Filosofia do Conhecimento I e II. Os programas dessas disciplinas nos últimos anos estiveram presentes por trás da elaboração do manual. (shrink)
A filósofa americana Cora Diamond, especialista em Frege e Wittgenstein, que os lê dando especial atenção à filosofia da linguagem, do pensamento, da lógica e da matemática, tem também coisas importantes a dizer, a partir da maneira wittgensteiniana de ver a filosofia, acerca de filosofia moral. Em particular, ela é fortemente crítica de uma certa forma de conceber a natureza da filosofia moral, muito comum hoje entre os filósofos analíticos, como exclusivamente centrada na acção e na decisão de agentes e (...) em argumentos acerca daquilo que é racional fazer. Foi essa crítica, que podemos considerar feita de um ponto de vista metodológico, que fez Diamond entrar em polémica, há cerca de trinta anos, com autores muito influentes em ética como Peter Singer e Tom Regan, mesmo se partilha com eles muitas intuições. Neste artigo pretendo simplesmente descrever a posição de Diamond acerca da natureza do pensamento moral e do que pensamos que fazemos quando fazemos filosofia moral. Por trás da análise do papel da imaginação moral em ética, está a questão mais geral da natureza do método flosófico. (shrink)
American philosopher Cora Diamond's view of the materials admissible in moral philosophy is bound to strike many analytic philosophers as too broad: they wouldn't dream of thinking of them (namely of literature) as 'part of their job'. This, of course, assumes a conception of the nature of the such job, one in regard to which Diamond expresses doubts of several kinds. In this paper I search for different reasons for those doubts and then try to make the connection clear between (...) Diamond's proposal of a change in 'the way we want to do moral philosophy' and her reading of Wittgenstein on ethical non-sense. Finally, I suggest that although Diamond has a strong case when she defends that the dismissal of literary materials in moral philosophy marks an untenable neutrality ideal, not every aspect of her view of the role of literature in moral philosophy is equally compelling. She recruits literature for two different purposes: countering the prevailing 'blindness to blindness' and countering the lack of awe and the obliviousness to the 'difficulty of reality' in moral thinking. Since these are different purposes, philosophers might be rejecting any of various things when they do not dream of counting literature as part of their job. A concepção dos materiais admissíveis em filosofia moral da filósofa americana Cora Diamond certamente parecerá a muitos filósofos analíticos demasiado lata: muitos são aqueles que nem sonhariam contar materiais literários como 'parte do seu trabalho'. Ora isto presume urna concepção da natureza de tal trabalho, e é quanto a essa concepção que Diamond exprime dúvidas de vários tipos. Neste artigo procuro identificar as diferentes razões para tais dúvidas. Procuro também explicitar a relação da proposta de Diamond de uma alteracão na 'forma como queremos fazer filosofia moral' com a sua leitura de Wittgenstein acerca de nonsense ético. Finalmente, sugiro que se é certo que Diamond tem um caso sólido quando defende que a rejeição de materiais literários na filosofia moral é marca de um indefensável ideal de neutralidade, nem todos os aspectos da sua forma de ver o papel da literatura na filosofia moral são igualmente convincentes. Uma vez que ela recruta a literatura para propósitos distintos - para contrariar a 'cegueira à cegueira' mas também para contrariar a falta de assombro no pensamento moral, que torna este estanque à 'dificuldade da realidade' -, os filósofos que nem sonhariam contar a literatura como parte do seu trabalho podem estar a rejeitar coisas completamente diferentes quando rejeitam o papel da literatura na filosofia moral. (shrink)
Although D. Dennett is sometimes accused of insensitivity to ‘real’, first-person problems of the mind, his Intentional Systems Theory offers a comprehensive, cognitive science grounded, account of the nature of subjectivity. This account involves views on intentionality (concerning the nature of the representation relation, content, psychological explanation), consciousness (comprising a functionalist model, a second order, belief-like, theory of self-awareness, and a deflationary view of qualia), personhood and freedom of action (concerning what must be in place in terms of cognition for (...) the mentalistic concepts of ‘person’ and ‘action’ to apply). Since Dennett defends that the principles for understanding intentionality and consciousness are the same, in order to understand his brand of anti-representationalism we must deal with both intentionality and consciousness. That is what I will do in this article. I will also discuss the metaphysical implications of anti-representationalism, and in general use Dennett’s work as a key to describe how a range of philosophical issues of cognitive science appear from an anti-representationalist point of view. (shrink)
Este artigo propõe uma releitura do artigo Other Minds de J. L. Austin, um exemplo clássico e central do realismo de Oxford, que é hoje exponenciado por autores tão distintos entre si como John McDowell, Timothy Williamson, M. G. F. Martin, Paul Snowdon ou Charles Travis. Um objectivo da leitura é pôr em relevo algumas características da abordagem das questões epistemológicas no seio dessa corrente. Começo por contextualizar o estatuto da investigação epistemológica num quadro de filosofia da linguagem comum. Segue-se (...) uma análise do artigo Other Minds em cinco passos. Finalmente exploro a aplicação ao problema das outras mentes das considerações performativas sobre conhecimento desenvolvidas ao longo do artigo, focando em particular o caso do testemunho. (shrink)
Este artigo tem por tema a filosofia da psicologia. A psicologia é considerada como ciência natural e parte da biologia, herdando por isso os problemas epistemológicos desta, nomeadamente os que dizem respeito às explicações teleológicas. Na psicologia a questão teleológica torna-se no problema do conteúdo ou intencionalidade de estados mentais. Pressupõe-se na discussão que deve ser possivel uma ciência natural do mental e dessa entidade - o comportamento - apenas discernível no mundo fisico se olharmos para funções de sistemas. Mais (...) em geral, a discussão enquadra-se no debate acerca de externalismo/internalismo em filosofia da mente. Há um conflito quanto ao realismo a que se é ou não conduzido no tratamento do problema. A posição de Ruth G. Millikan é realista, enquanto que a de Daniel Dennett é usualmente classificada como instrumentalista. /// This essay deals with the philosophy of psychology. Psychology is here considered as a natural science, a part of biology, and, as such, it has inherited its epistemological problems, namely those related to the teleological explanations. In psychology, the teleological question is the problem of the content or intentionality of mental states. Throughout the discussion, it is assumed that a natural science must be possible dealing not only with mental states but also with that entity - behaviour - which is only perceived in the physical world taking into account system functions. More generally, this discussion is part of the debate on internalism/externalism in philosophy of mind. A conflict arises as to one's stand on realism. Ruth G. Millikan's position is realist, whereas that of Daniel Dennett is usually classified as instrumentalist. (shrink)
In this text we present the articles contained in issue 6 of Con-Textos Kantianos, which is dedicated to the relation between Kant’s philosophy and current discussions in philosophy of mind and epistemology. The articles are organized in three sections, dedicated respectively to sensory consciousness and judgement, spontaneity and Kantianism and science.
The aim of the present article is to identify and analyze three particular disputes among current proponents of perceptual realism which may throw light on tensions present in the history of direct realism and current discussions. Starting from John Searle’s conception of direct realism, I first set McDowell and Travis’s approaches in contrast with it. I then further compare Travis’ view with McDowell’s. I claim that differences among the three philosophers are traceable first to methodological conceptions of the approach to (...) perceptual experience (whether philosophical naturalism implies dealing with the sub-personal level), then to what makes for the particularity of a perceptual experience (whether it involves consciousness and a task of unity or not), and finally to what makes for the determinacy of an experience of things in the world (whether such determinacy characterizes the world itself or, as such, involves language and thought). (shrink)
Objectivo do presente artigo é, antes de mais, verificar qual a concepção de Identidade Pessoal na Posição Original pressuposta por Rawls em Uma Teoria da Justiça e também em Liberalismo Político. Embora Rawls defenda que a concepção de Identidade Pessoal de que a teoria da justiça necessita é neutra e abstracta, a autora do artigo procura, concretamente à luz da análise de três dimensões da Identidade Pessoal (cognitiva, metafisica e narrativa) na filosofia da mente e da acção, decidir se tal (...) posição é ou não defensável. /// Aim of the present article is first of all to characterize the Rawlsian conception of personal identity in the original position (both in A Theory of Justice and in Political Liberalism). Rawls sometimes claims that the conception of personal identity necessary for his theory of justice is abstract and neutral, but that claim must be assessed. The author of the article assesses that claim precisely from the point of view of contemporary philosophy of mind and action. Three dimensions of the problem of personal identity -cognitive, metaphysical and narrative - are thus analysed in order to bring forth the ways in which decisions concerning each dimension weigh on the Rawlsian theory of justice. (shrink)
My main purpose in this article is to explore the connections between views of concepts and of philosophy of mind. My analysis focuses on recent work on concepts and on the conceptual-non conceptual distinction by French philosopher Jocelyn Benoist (Benoist 2005, 2010, 2011). While tracing back Benoist’s contextualist counterproposal to representationalism in the philosophy of mind to converging influences ranging from phenomenology (Husserl 1994) to philosophy of language (Travis 2008), I spell out some of the problems posed by viewing concepts (...) as representations in a mental repository (a conception which has survived all attacks to the classic necessary and sufficient conditions view in the last half century (Murphy 2002, Prinz 2002)). (shrink)