Emotions Emotions are consequent upon desire and belief not freestanding mental episodes. The subject has certain desires, such as the desire to stay safe, and also certain beliefs, such as the belief that a looming animal is dangerous, and the result is fear directed at the animal in question. It is hard to […]
About Colin McGinn
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Conceding Intelligence In footnote 76 of Naming and Necessity Kripke writes: “I have been surprised to find that at least one able listener took my use of such terms as ‘correlated with’, ‘corresponding to’, and the like as already begging the question against the identity thesis. The identity thesis, so he said, […]
Fundamental Discoveries What are the most fundamental discoveries we have made about the universe? I don’t mean what are the most fundamental things we know about the universe; I mean to ask about what we have discovered (revealed, unearthed, found out unexpectedly). I think there are three: atoms, universals, and forces. We […]
Evolution of Language Consider a hypothetical species with the following profile: they have evolved by mutation and natural selection a language of thought, an internal symbolic system of infinite scope and finite base. This they use as the medium of their thought. They have not yet, however, evolved a public language of […]
Topics Covered I thought it would be helpful to list the main topics covered in the papers published on this site, so in no particular order they are as follows: truth, identity, existence, necessity, color, knowledge, persons, consciousness, the unconscious, belief, intention, skepticism, realism, induction, free will, concepts, language, speech, names, descriptions, performatives, properties, […]
There are necessary truths, but might there not have been? The actual world contains necessities, but are there possible worlds in which nothing is necessary? Is necessity necessary? If necessity were a matter of language or human convention, the answer would be that necessity is not necessary, since language and human convention […]
The Mind of God Divine Psychology A typical university education in the science of psychology will include a course entitled “comparative psychology,” which deals with animal psychology and its similarities to, and differences from, human psychology. But I have never heard of a psychology degree that offers a comparative […]
Evil comes in many varieties. A typical list would include: genocide, murder, torture, terrorism, slavery, sadism, the sexual and physical abuse of children, slander, betrayal of trust, desecration of the sacred, disfiguring, maiming, and crippling. We might count as evil the willful destruction of great works of art or architecture, in addition to […]