Ideas of Georges Rey, by Theme

[American, fl. 1992, Professor at the University of Maryland.]

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5. Theory of Logic / F. Referring in Logic / 1. Naming / d. Singular terms
Varieties of singular terms are used to designate token particulars
6. Mathematics / C. Sources of Mathematics / 4. Mathematical Empiricism / b. Indispensability of mathematics
Physics requires the existence of properties, and also the abstract objects of arithmetic
9. Objects / F. Identity among Objects / 7. Indiscernible Objects
The Indiscernibility of Identicals is a truism; but the Identity of Indiscernibles depends on possible identical worlds
12. Knowledge Sources / A. A Priori Knowledge / 1. Nature of the A Priori
The traditional a priori is justified without experience; post-Quine it became unrevisable by experience
12. Knowledge Sources / D. Empiricism / 1. Empiricism
Empiricism says experience is both origin and justification of all knowledge
13. Knowledge Criteria / C. External Justification / 9. Naturalised Epistemology
Animal learning is separate from their behaviour
14. Science / D. Explanation / 3. Best Explanation / a. Best explanation
Abduction could have true data and a false conclusion, and may include data not originally mentioned
14. Science / D. Explanation / 3. Best Explanation / b. Ultimate explanation
It's not at all clear that explanation needs to stop anywhere
15. Nature of Minds / A. Nature of Mind / 1. Mind / e. Questions about mind
The three theories are reduction, dualism, eliminativism
15. Nature of Minds / B. Features of Minds / 1. Consciousness / e. Cause of consciousness
Is consciousness 40Hz oscillations in layers 5 and 6 of the visual cortex?
15. Nature of Minds / B. Features of Minds / 3. Privacy
Dualist privacy is seen as too deep for even telepathy to reach
15. Nature of Minds / B. Features of Minds / 4. Intentionality / b. Intentionality theories
Intentional explanations are always circular
15. Nature of Minds / B. Features of Minds / 5. Qualia / a. Nature of qualia
Arithmetic and unconscious attitudes have no qualia
Why qualia, and why this particular quale?
15. Nature of Minds / B. Features of Minds / 5. Qualia / b. Qualia and intentionality
If qualia have no function, their attachment to thoughts is accidental
Are qualia a type of propositional attitude?
15. Nature of Minds / B. Features of Minds / 5. Qualia / c. Explaining qualia
Are qualia irrelevant to explaining the mind?
15. Nature of Minds / B. Features of Minds / 6. Inverted Qualia
If colour fits a cone mapping hue, brightness and saturation, rotating the cone could give spectrum inversion
16. Persons / B. Nature of the Self / 6. Self as Higher Awareness
Self-consciousness may just be nested intentionality
16. Persons / C. Self-Awareness / 4. Errors in Introspection
Experiments prove that people are often unaware of their motives
Brain damage makes the unreliability of introspection obvious
16. Persons / F. Free Will / 5. Against Free Will
If reason could be explained in computational terms, there would be no need for the concept of 'free will'
Free will isn't evidence against a theory of thought if there is no evidence for free will
17. Mind and Body / B. Behaviourism / 1. Behaviourism
Maybe behaviourists should define mental states as a group
Behaviourism is eliminative, or reductionist, or methodological
17. Mind and Body / B. Behaviourism / 4. Behaviourism Critique
Animals don't just respond to stimuli, they experiment
How are stimuli and responses 'similar'?
Behaviour is too contingent and irrelevant to be the mind
17. Mind and Body / C. Functionalism / 1. Functionalism
Dualism and physicalism explain nothing, and don't suggest any research
If a normal person lacked a brain, would you say they had no mind?
17. Mind and Body / C. Functionalism / 6. Homuncular Functionalism
Homuncular functionalism (e.g. Freud) could be based on simpler mechanical processes
17. Mind and Body / C. Functionalism / 7. Chinese Room
Is the room functionally the same as a Chinese speaker?
Searle is guilty of the fallacy of division - attributing a property of the whole to a part
17. Mind and Body / C. Functionalism / 8. Functionalism critique
One computer program could either play chess or fight a war
17. Mind and Body / E. Mind as Physical / 3. Eliminativism
If you explain water as H2O, you have reduced water, but not eliminated it
Human behaviour can show law-like regularity, which eliminativism can't explain
17. Mind and Body / E. Mind as Physical / 4. Connectionism
Pattern recognition is puzzling for computation, but makes sense for connectionism
Connectionism explains well speed of perception and 'graceful degradation'
Connectionism explains irrationality (such as the Gamblers' Fallacy) quite well
Connectionism assigns numbers to nodes and branches, and plots the outcomes
17. Mind and Body / E. Mind as Physical / 7. Anti-Physicalism / a. Physicalism critique
Can identity explain reason, free will, non-extension, intentionality, subjectivity, experience?
Physicalism offers something called "complexity" instead of mental substance
18. Thought / A. Modes of Thought / 2. Propositional Attitudes
Some attitudes are information (belief), others motivate (hatred)
18. Thought / B. Mechanics of Thought / 3. Modularity of Mind
Children speak 90% good grammar
Good grammar can't come simply from stimuli
18. Thought / B. Mechanics of Thought / 4. Language of Thought
Animals may also use a language of thought
We train children in truth, not in grammar
18. Thought / B. Mechanics of Thought / 6. Artificial Thought / a. Artificial Intelligence
Images can't replace computation, as they need it
CRTT is good on deduction, but not so hot on induction, abduction and practical reason
18. Thought / C. Content / 1. Content
Problem-solving clearly involves manipulating images
Animals map things over time as well as over space
18. Thought / C. Content / 6. Broad Content
Simple externalism is that the meaning just is the object
18. Thought / D. Concepts / 4. Structure of Concepts / h. Family resemblance
Anything bears a family resemblance to a game, but obviously not anything counts as one
19. Language / A. Nature of Meaning / 5. Meaning as Verification
A one hour gap in time might be indirectly verified, but then almost anything could be
19. Language / A. Nature of Meaning / 6. Meaning as Use
The meaning of "and" may be its use, but not of "animal"
19. Language / A. Nature of Meaning / 7. Meaning Holism / b. Language holism
Semantic holism means new evidence for a belief changes the belief, and we can't agree on concepts
19. Language / A. Nature of Meaning / 8. Synonymy
Externalist synonymy is there being a correct link to the same external phenomena
19. Language / B. Reference / 3. Direct Reference / b. Causal reference
Causal theories of reference (by 'dubbing') don't eliminate meanings in the heads of dubbers
If meaning and reference are based on causation, then virtually everything has meaning
19. Language / B. Reference / 4. Descriptive Reference / a. Sense and reference
Referential Opacity says truth is lost when you substitute one referring term ('mother') for another ('Jocasta')
19. Language / E. Analyticity / 1. Analytic Propositions
'Married' does not 'contain' its symmetry, nor 'bigger than' its transitivity
Analytic judgements can't be explained by contradiction, since that is what is assumed
Analytic statements are undeniable (because of meaning), rather than unrevisable
The meaning properties of a term are those which explain how the term is typically used
An intrinsic language faculty may fix what is meaningful (as well as grammatical)
Research throws doubts on the claimed intuitions which support analyticity
19. Language / E. Analyticity / 4. Analytic/Synthetic Critique
If we claim direct insight to what is analytic, how do we know it is not sub-consciously empirical?
19. Language / F. Communication / 5. Pragmatics / b. Implicature
A simple chaining device can't build sentences containing 'either..or', or 'if..then'
23. Ethics / C. Virtue Theory / 2. Elements of Virtue Theory / h. Right feelings
Our desires become important when we have desires about desires