more from Peter Geach

Single Idea 8776

[catalogued under 15. Nature of Minds / C. Capacities of Minds / 3. Abstraction by mind]

Full Idea

Abstractionists are unaware of the difficulty with relations - that they neither exist nor can be observed apart from the converse relation, the two being indivisible, as in grasping 'to the left of' and 'to the right of'.

Gist of Idea

We cannot learn relations by abstraction, because their converse must be learned too


Peter Geach (Mental Acts: their content and their objects [1957], 9)

Book Reference

Geach,Peter: 'Mental Acts: Their content and their objects' [RKP 1971], p.33

A Reaction

It is hard to see how a rival account such as platonism could help. It seems obvious to me that 'right' and 'left' would be quite meaningless without some experience of things in space, including an orientation to them.