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Ideas of Colin McGinn, by Text

[British, b.1950, Born in Blackpool. University of Manchester, then London, then Oxford, then Rutgers, then NYU, then Miami U.]

1976 On the Necessity of Origin
p.134 McGinn falsely claims necessity of origin is a special case of the necessity of identity [Forbes,G]
p.132 p.209 Suppose a world where I'm from different gametes; add my gametes; which one is more me?
1982 The Structure of Content
p.108 Beliefs are states of the head that explain behaviour, and also items with referential truth-conditions
1983 Subjective View: sec qualities and indexicals
2 p.5 Lockean secondary qualities (unlike primaries) produce particular sensory experiences
2 p.6 Being red simply consists in looking red
2 p.8 You don't need to know how a square thing looks or feels to understand squareness
2 p.10 Relativity means differing secondary perceptions are not real disagreements
2 p.12 Phenomenalism is correct for secondary qualities, so scepticism is there impossible
2 p.17 Indexical thought is in relation to my self-consciousness
2 p.22 Indexicals do not figure in theories of physics, because they are not explanatory causes
3 p.42 I can know indexical truths a priori, unlike their non-indexical paraphrases
5 p.69 The indexical perspective is subjective, incorrigible and constant
6 p.73 Could there be a mind which lacked secondary quality perception?
6 p.81 Maybe all possible sense experience must involve both secondary and primary qualities
6 p.85 Touch doesn't provide direct experience of primary qualities, because touch feels temperature
6 p.97 Secondary qualities contain information; their variety would be superfluous otherwise
6 p.98 The utility theory says secondary qualities give information useful to human beings
6 p.104 Indexical concepts are indispensable, as we need them for the power to act
6 p.107 We can perceive objectively, because primary qualities are not mind-created
6 n 52 p.107 To explain object qualities, primary qualities must be more than mere sources of experience
8 p.138 You understood being red if you know the experience involved; not so with thngs being square
Ch.8 n1 p.129 We see objects 'directly' by representing them
1991 The Problem of Consciousness
p.435 McGinn invites surrender, by saying it is hopeless trying to imagine conscious machines [Dennett]
p.132 p.188 Multiple realisability rules out hidden essences and experts as the source of water- and gold-concepts
1999 The Mysterious Flame
p.100 p.100 Brains aren't made of anything special, suggesting panpsychism
p.147 p.147 Thoughts have a dual aspect: as they seem to introspection, and their underlying logical reality
p.167 p.167 Free will is mental causation in action
p.209 p.209 Philosophy is a magnificent failure in its attempt to overstep the limits of our knowledge
p.225 p.225 There is information if there are symbols which refer, and which can combine into a truth or falsehood
p.40 p.40 Mental modules for language, social, action, theory, space, emotion
p.47 p.47 Examining mind sees no brain; examining brain sees no mind
p.92 p.92 Causation in the material world is energy-transfer, of motion, electricity or gravity
2000 Logical Properties
Pref p.-3 The quantifier is overrated as an analytical tool
Ch.1 p.2 Type-identity is close similarity in qualities
Ch.1 p.2 Qualitative identity is really numerical identity of properties
Ch.1 p.3 Qualitative identity can be analysed into numerical identity of the type involved
Ch.1 p.7 Leibniz's Law says 'x = y iff for all P, Px iff Py'
Ch.1 p.7 Leibniz's Law presupposes the notion of property identity
Ch.1 p.8 In 'x is F and x is G' we must assume the identity of x in the two statements
Ch.1 p.8 Definitions identify two concepts, so they presuppose identity
Ch.1 p.9 Identity is as basic as any concept could ever be
Ch.1 p.10 Sherlock Holmes does not exist, but he is self-identical
Ch.1 p.11 Both non-contradiction and excluded middle need identity in their formulation
Ch.1 p.13 Identity propositions are not always tautological, and have a key epistemic role
Ch.1 p.14 Identity is unitary, indefinable, fundamental and a genuine relation
Ch.1 n4 p.2 It is best to drop types of identity, and speak of 'identity' or 'resemblance'
Ch.1 n5 p.3 All identity is necessary, though identity statements can be contingently true
Ch.1 n8 p.5 Leibniz's Law is so fundamental that it almost defines the concept of identity
Ch.2 p.22 Existence can't be analysed as instantiating a property, as instantiation requires existence
Ch.2 p.27 We can't analyse the sentence 'something exists' in terms of instantiated properties
Ch.2 p.30 Existence is a property of all objects, but less universal than self-identity, which covers even conceivable objects
Ch.2 p.32 Existential quantifiers just express the quantity of things, leaving existence to the predicate 'exists'
Ch.2 p.33 We need an Intentional Quantifier ("some of the things we talk about.."), so existence goes into the proposition
Ch.2 p.35 'Partial quantifier' would be a better name than 'existential quantifier', as no existence would be implied
Ch.2 p.45 Scepticism about reality is possible because existence isn't part of appearances
Ch.2 p.49 If Satan is the most imperfect conceivable being, he must have non-existence
Ch.2 p.50 I think the fault of the Ontological Argument is taking the original idea to be well-defined
Ch.2 n11 p.25 Regresses are only vicious in the context of an explanation
Ch.2 n29 p.43 Existence is a primary quality, non-existence a secondary quality
Ch.3 p.52 Clearly predicates have extensions (applicable objects), but are the extensions part of their meaning?
Ch.3 p.63 Facts are object-plus-extension, or property-plus-set-of-properties, or object-plus-property
Ch.3 p.68 Semantics should not be based on set-membership, but on instantiation of properties in objects
Ch.4 p.70 If 'possible' is explained as quantification across worlds, there must be possible worlds
Ch.4 p.83 Modality is not objects or properties, but the type of binding of objects to properties
Ch.4 p.84 Necessity and possibility are big threats to the empiricist view of knowledge
Ch.4 p.86 If causal power is the test for reality, that will exclude necessities and possibilities
Ch.5 p.89 The coherence theory of truth implies idealism, because facts are just coherent beliefs
Ch.5 p.90 'Snow does not fall' corresponds to snow does fall
Ch.5 p.91 The idea of truth is built into the idea of correspondence
Ch.5 p.96 Truth is the property of propositions that makes it possible to deduce facts
Ch.5 p.101 Without the disquotation device for truth, you could never form beliefs from others' testimony
Ch.5 p.102 Truth is a method of deducing facts from propositions
2002 The Making of a Philosopher
Ch. 5 p.138 If meaning is speaker's intentions, it can be reduced to propositional attitudes, and philosophy of mind
Ch. 6 p.174 If all mental life were conscious, we would be unable to see things, or to process speech