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A Puzzle About Perception

    A Puzzle About Perception   Here is a strange fact about the universe: nothing that can be perceived from the inside can be perceived from the outside, and nothing that can be perceived from the outside can be perceived from the inside. You feel an intense pain—you plainly perceive the pain—but no one […]

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Reading Matter

Reading Matter   I made on attempt on the mountain of Don Quixote and made it to page 400. I don’t intend to reach the summit, though I enjoyed the climb. It’s just a bit too repetitive and the joke starts to wear thin. Still it has a certain impressive monomania about it. The knight […]

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An Interactive Theory of Meaning

    An Interactive Theory of Meaning   Theories of meaning are apt to emphasize one or other aspect of what is conceived as a polarity: either meaning is constituted by features of the mind (the subject, the brain) or it is constituted by features of mind-independent reality (objects, the environment). Thus we have internalist […]

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Another Philosopher’s Day

    Another Philosopher’s Day[1]   Wake from a dream (that might be reality) Penetrate the veil of perception Check that one is not a brain in a vat Receive the given Will one’s right arm to rise Harness mind to body by tinkering with the pineal Quantify over a few numbers Imbibe some wisdom […]

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Godless Matter

    Godless Matter   Berkeley’s philosophy is built around the insight that the existence of matter and the existence of God are incompatible.[1] If God exists, then matter does not; if matter exists, then God does not. This incompatibility is not obvious: offhand it appears that matter and God are compatible entities—a world could […]

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Best At Doing Philosophy

  Best At Doing Philosophy   I found myself wondering who is the best at actually doing philosophy—the activity, the skill. I mean as judged by such criteria as cleverness, ingenuity, argumentative power, intellectual penetration, insight, polemical punch, sheer philosophical IQ. This is independent of correctness or quantity of output. Here is my answer: Descartes, […]

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Psychologist

  Psychologist   Here is an extra oddity: I was originally trained as a psychologist not a philosopher. And I don’t mean a philosophical psychologist but an experimental psychologist. I used to be a scientist. I got my B.A. in psychology from Manchester University in 1971 (first class) and went on to do an M.A. […]

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