There are not many mysterians in the world, at least visible out-of-the-closet mysterians, but the following four people clearly qualify: me, Chomsky, Fodor, and Pinker. This is a large enough sample to inquire what the mysterian psychology is like–what do the four of us have in common? It might be supposed that a mysterian is apt to be theoretically timid, reluctant to stick his neck out: he is always warning others about their theoretical recklessness, urging caution. He is a nay-sayer, a conservative, a coward of the intellect. He thinks theories are for the birds–hubristic folly. But actually the four people on my list are the very opposite–they are all theoretical adventurers, their necks fully extended. They love theories, the more adventurous the better. They are indeed frequently criticized for their theoretical excesses. They are not timid but bold. This suggests another account of their mysterian tendencies: they know what a good theory looks like and what it takes to establish one, and they can see that nothing of this kind is available in the domain in which they sense mystery. They are disappointed theorists, not overly cautious anti-theorists.
0 0 Colin McGinn Colin McGinn2015-06-24 18:06:432015-06-24 18:06:43The Psychology of the Mysterian