more from Gilbert Harman

Single Idea 12603

[catalogued under 15. Nature of Minds / A. Nature of Mind / 6. Anti-Individualism]

Full Idea

No one has ever described a way of explaining what beliefs, desires, and other mental states are except in terms of actual or possible relations to things in the external world.

Gist of Idea

We can only describe mental attitudes in relation to the external world


Gilbert Harman ((Nonsolipsistic) Conceptual Role Semantics [1987], 12.3.4)

Book Reference

Harman,Gilbert: 'Reasoning Meaning and Mind' [OUP 1999], p.226

A Reaction

If I pursue my current favourite idea, that how we explain things is the driving force in what ontology we adopt, then this way of seeing the mind, and taking an externalist anti-individualist view of it seems quite attractive.