Entries by Colin McGinn

A Plurality of Selves

A Plurality of Selves 1.Human beings are persons or selves and they have a specific nature: they have a certain type of psychology and a certain type of biological make-up. Not all possible sentient beings share this nature. For instance, humans have personal memories, consciousness, self-reflection, rationality, and a brain with two hemispheres that is […]

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Injustice

Injustice     Injustice directed towards an individual creates a specific psychological response. This response includes anger at the perpetrator, moral indignation, resentment, a sense of futility, a desire for revenge, disillusionment, and general malaise. It can shape a person’s entire life, and destroy his or her wellbeing permanently. The injustice can be of two […]

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Motion Again

  Causation and Motion     Consider a universe containing just two objects, A and B (suppose they are tennis balls). They are moving relatively to each other at 30mph and are a million miles apart. Conventional opinion has it that it is arbitrary to declare one at rest and the other in motion; we […]

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Intentionality Multiplied

  Double Intentionality       Brentano taught us to ask after the reference of a mental state: mental states are always “about” something, “directed at” something. They are not sealed off from the world but engaged with it. They are relational not intrinsic. This intentionality distinguishes them from merely physical states, which are not […]

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Accepted in Russia

I found out yesterday that my book Philosophical Provocations was chosen for discussion at the Center for Cosnciousness Studies at Moscow State University. I can’t imagine that happening today in America. So Russia is more rational and academically free than America. Isn’t this downright embarrassing?

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Analysis of Matter

  Analysis of Matter     What is the general nature of concepts of matter? How are such concepts to be analyzed? Is there a general nature or only a plurality of concept-types? Ryle wrote a book called The Concept of Mind(note the uniqueness implied by “the”), arguing that mental concepts are generally dispositional in […]

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Analysis of Mind

      Forms of Analysis     Since Plato inaugurated conceptual analysis a certain pattern has recurred. His first stab at an analysis of knowledge broke it down into two parts: truth and belief. To know something you had to believe it and it had to be true. Neither element alone was sufficient (though […]

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Blacklisting again

I want to remind my readers that I am currently blacklisted by the philosophy profession in America: no employment, no invitations, etc. This is not remotely justifiable and I am appalled by it. It reflects very badly on the profession (i.e. the people in it). This is partly why I am putting my writing on […]

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