0 0 Colin McGinn Colin McGinn2015-09-04 16:33:082015-09-17 16:36:14Prehension Prehended
Did I mention that my book Prehension recently came out? I have held it in my hands. It’s a funny book. It’s not really a philosophy book, but a science book. But it’s more like nineteenth century science, informal and personal, as well as “scientific”. The title alludes both to gripping with the hands and grasping with the mind (any reference to Whitehead is quite accidental). I adopt a very biological view of the mind, though without the usual reductionism. I intend it to be “meaningful” in the sense of summing up the human condition. We are very odd creatures when you look at it closely; my book is odd too.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading Prehension, thank you.
…stab (!) in the dark here…
If human language and the thoughts conveyed by it each result from a prehensive palimpsest then does that offer theoretical support for the truth of externalism as a theory of mental content?
Furthermore, if thoughts involving ostensive concepts have their roots in prehension, then can’t the self (itself a locus of indexicality) be ‘explained’ in prehensive terms?
The (human) self is just that which deictically grasps?
Interesting questions. Certainly embodiment becomes important if prehension is basic. And the self is a grasping entity–though also a perceiving and feeling entity.
Whilst I cannot plausibly imagine how feeling could be a kind of grasping, I thought (part of) your thesis was that perception is basically how a human subject ‘grasps’ its environment? Grasping is in some sense anterior to and perhaps even necessary for perception?
…although I suppose that not all perceiving selves are grasping perceiving selves.
Actually the self can’t usually grasp anything without feeling it too. And this is in some way literally the case. Not playing with words.
That’s true–“putting out feelers”.