Where There?

I’m mostly in the camp (in meta-psychology,) of Jerry Fodor, Although, broadly speaking of my own prejudices, whether the subject is folk psychology, theory of mind, or experimental philosophy, I’m also old-fashioned, so William James is evoked whenever I’m digging on the strange epistemological conundrums, problems which don’t dissuade anybody from anything in any practical, everyday, useful, “Jamesian” sense.

Anyway, Mr. Fodor reviews Michael Type, Consciousness Revisited, in the current TLS, under the title, It Ain’t In the Head. (article likely not available forever at this link)

Here’s Fodor’s attractive opening paragraph.

Philosophy, you understand, is a very pharmacopoeia of cures that are worse than the corresponding diseases. This started a long while ago; perhaps with Plato’s suggestion that, although there is a problem about how so many different things can all be chairs, philosophy can fix it: there is only one chair that is really a chair, the Chair on which no one can sit; the One Chair that is in Heaven. This kind of philosophical overkill, having once got started, has never stopped. Thus Descartes: the way to explain how your mind causes your body to move is to say that the pineal gland performs a miracle each time it does. Or Berkeley: the way to avoid scepticism about perceptual beliefs is to say that chairs, tables and everything else are made of ideas. Or Wittgenstein and Ryle: the solution of the epistemological problem about how anybody can know whether anybody else is in pain is that (other people’s) pains reduce to their pain behaviours, there being, by assumption, no epistemological problem about recognizing them. Or take Carnap and Ayer: the way to understand the semantics of “electron” and other such “theoretical terms” is to hold that electrons are “logical constructions” out of the pointer readings of experimental instruments. Or take Frege: given that Venus and the Morning Star are the very same thing, there’s this worry about how John can believe that he sees Venus while not believing that he sees the Morning Star. One avoids the worry by saying that, though the two expressions refer to the same thing in sentences like “John saw Venus” (the Morning Star), they do not refer to the same thing in sentences like “John believes (thinks/knows) that he saw Venus” and “John believes (thinks/knows) that he saw the Morning Star”.

Good read. link

Where is this moving? Hmmm, see movement there? where?

If you can intentionally stop the ‘movement,’ reflect upon where the ‘what’ of such stopping, or upon ‘what is the there’ of such stopping. Oh, and let me know what you come up with—there’s no right answer.

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One Response to Where There?

  1. Hi Stephen,
    this is a very interesting moving image. When I stop it intentionally, I see it contract towards the center. But when I let go, the image expands outwardly. It’s interesting what intention can bring about: focus on the inner, as opposed to the outer.

    Thanks for sharing,


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