idea number gives full details.     |    back to list of philosophers     |     expand these ideas

Ideas of John Searle, by Text

[American, b.1932, Born in Denver. Studied in Oxford. Professor at the University of California.]

1958 Proper Names
p.89 p.89 We don't normally think of names as having senses (e.g. we don't give definitions of them)
p.91 p.91 How can a proper name be correlated with its object if it hasn't got a sense?
p.93 p.93 'Aristotle' means more than just 'an object that was christened "Aristotle"'
p.94 p.94 Reference for proper names presupposes a set of uniquely referring descriptions
p.96 p.96 Proper names are logically connected with their characteristics, in a loose way
1984 Minds, Brains and Science
p.438 A program won't contain understanding if it is small enough to imagine
p.439 If bigger and bigger brain parts can't understand, how can a whole brain?
1992 The Rediscovery of the Mind
p.7 Searle argues that biology explains consciousness, but physics won't explain biology
Intro p.-6 Meaning is derived intentionality
Intro p.-6 Philosophy of language is a branch of philosophy of mind
Intro p.-5 Property dualism is the reappearance of Cartesianism
Intro p.-5 Reality is entirely particles in force fields
Ch. 1.I p.2 Property dualists tend to find the mind-body problem baffling
Ch. 1.IV p.14 Consciousness is a brain property as liquidity is a water property
Ch. 1.V.4 p.22 Other minds are not inferred by analogy, but are our best explanation
Ch. 1.V.5 p.23 Mental states only relate to behaviour contingently, not necessarily
Ch. 1.V.6 p.24 You can only know the limits of knowledge if you know the other side of the limit
Ch. 2 App p.59 We don't postulate folk psychology, we experience it
Ch. 2.VIII p.49 Functionalists like the externalist causal theory of reference
Ch. 3.IV p.77 We don't have a "theory" that other people have minds
Ch. 3.IV p.80 There is no such thing as 'wide content'
Ch. 3.IV p.81 Either there is intrinsic intentionality, or everything has it
Ch. 4.1 p.84 Pain is not intentional, because it does not represent anything beyond itself
Ch. 4.I p.83 Consciousness seems indefinable by conditions or categories
Ch. 4.II p.98 Neither introspection nor privileged access makes sense
Ch. 4.II p.99 I cannot observe my own subjectivity
Ch. 4.III p.105 Mind and brain don't interact if they are the same
Ch. 4.III p.108 Conscious creatures seem able to discriminate better
Ch. 5.I p.111 Some properties depend on components, others on their relations
Ch. 5.I p.112 Fully 'emergent' properties contradict our whole theory of causation
Ch. 5.II p.113 Reduction can be of things, properties, ideas or causes
Ch. 5.II.5 p.115 If mind is caused by brain, does this mean mind IS brain?
Ch. 5.III p.118 Property dualism denies reductionism
Ch. 5.V p.124 Mind and brain are supervenient in respect of cause and effect
Ch. 5.V p.125 If mind-brain supervenience isn't causal, this implies epiphenomenalism
Ch. 5.V p.126 Upwards mental causation makes 'supervenience' irrelevant
Ch. 5.V p.126 Mental events can cause even though supervenient, like the solidity of a piston
Ch. 5.V p.204 Solidity in a piston is integral to its structure, not supervenient
Ch. 5.V p.205 Is supervenience just causality?
Ch. 6 p.127 The mind experiences space, but it is not experienced as spatial
Ch. 6.I.2 p.130 We experience unity at an instant and across time
Ch. 6.I.5 p.132 Consciousness is essential and basic to intentionality
Ch. 6.I.7 p.136 Perception is a function of expectation
Ch. 6.II.2 p.144 Introspection is just thinking about mental states, not a special sort of vision
Ch. 7.II.1 p.156 Water flowing downhill can be described as if it had intentionality
Ch. 7.II.4 p.158 Wanting H2O only differs from wanting water in its mental component
Ch. 7.II.7 p.160 Unconscious thoughts are those capable of causing conscious ones
Ch. 7.III p.163 Without internal content, a zombie's full behaviour couldn't be explained
Ch. 7.V p.168 Freud treats the unconscious as intentional and hence mental
Ch. 8.I p.175 Intentional phenomena only make sense within a background
Ch. 8.I p.176 Beliefs only make sense as part of a network of other beliefs
Ch. 8.I p.176 Beliefs are part of a network, and also exist against a background
Ch. 8.II p.181 Content is much more than just sentence meaning
Ch. 8.III p.187 Memory is mainly a guide for current performance
Ch. 8.III p.189 Intentionality is defined in terms of representation
Ch. 8.V p.194 Shared Background makes translation possible, though variation makes it hard
Ch. 9.II p.200 A program for Chinese translation doesn't need to understand Chinese
Ch. 9.V p.207 If mind is multiply realisable, it is possible that anything could realise it
Ch. 9.V p.210 Computation isn't a natural phenomenon, it is a way of seeing phenomena
Ch. 9.VI p.212 Computation presupposes consciousness
Ch. 9.VI p.213 Can the homunculus fallacy be beaten by recursive decomposition?
Ch. 9.VI p.214 If we are computers, who is the user?
Ch.10.I p.227 Mind involves fighting, fleeing, feeding and fornicating
Ch.10.II p.228 Consciousness results directly from brain processes, not from some intermediary like information
Ch.10.II p.229 Chemistry entirely explains plant behaviour
Ch.10.III p.238 The function of a heart depends on what we want it to do
Ch.10.IV p.240 We explain behaviour in terms of actual internal representations in the agent
Ch.10.IV p.244 Universal grammar doesn't help us explain anything
Ch.10.V p.248 Correspondence to the facts HAS to be the aim of enquiry
1997 The Mystery of Consciousness
Ch.1 p.5 A system is either conscious or it isn't, though the intensity varies a lot
Ch.1 p.7 There is non-event causation between mind and brain, as between a table and its solidity
Ch.1 p.8 The use of 'qualia' seems to imply that consciousness and qualia are separate
Ch.1 p.14 I now think syntax is not in the physics, but in the eye of the beholder
Ch.1 p.18 A property is 'emergent' if it is caused by elements of a system, when the elements lack the property
Ch.2 p.29 Reduction is either by elimination, or by explanation
Ch.2 p.33 Explanation of how we unify our mental stimuli into a single experience is the 'binding problem'
Ch.5 App p.120 Consciousness has a first-person ontology, which only exists from a subjective viewpoint
Concl 2.10 p.212 Eliminative reduction needs a gap between appearance and reality, as in sunsets
Concl 2.10 p.212 Consciousness has a first-person ontology, so it cannot be reduced without omitting something
Concl 2.5 p.206 If tree rings contain information about age, then age contains information about rings
Concl 2.6 p.206 The pattern of molecules in the sea is much more complex than the complexity of brain neurons
Concl.1 p.200 There isn't one consciousness (information-processing) which can be investigated, and another (phenomenal) which can't
2001 Rationality in Action
Ch.1.II p.13 Rational decision making presupposes free will
Ch.1.II p.19 If complex logic requires rules, then so does basic logic
Ch.1.II p.21 In real reasoning semantics gives validity, not syntax
Ch.1.II p.21 Entailment and validity are relations, but inference is a human activity
Ch.1.II p.23 Rationality is the way we coordinate our intentionality
Ch.1.II p.29 'Ought' implies that there is a reason to do something
Ch.1.II p.31 Preferences can result from deliberation, not just precede it
Ch.1.II p.32 The essence of humanity is desire-independent reasons for action
Ch.2 p.36 Our beliefs are about things, not propositions (which are the content of the belief)
Ch.3.II p.65 Free will is most obvious when we choose between several reasons for an action
Ch.3.II p.66 We freely decide whether to make a reason for action effective
Ch.3.IX p.93 Action requires a self, even though perception doesn't
Ch.3.IX p.93 A self must at least be capable of consciousness
Ch.3.IX p.93 The self is neither an experience nor a thing experienced
Ch.3.IX p.94 Thinking must involve a self, not just an "it"
Ch.3.VI p.77 Hume's 'bundle' won't distinguish one mind with ten experiences from ten minds
Ch.3.VII p.84 The bundle must also have agency in order to act, and a self to act rationally
Ch.3.VII p.86 Giving reasons for action requires reference to a self
Ch.3.VII p.90 Being held responsible for past actions makes no sense without personal identity
Ch.3.VII p.90 Theory involves accepting conclusions, and so is a special case of practical reason
Ch.3.VIII p.92 A 'self' must be capable of conscious reasonings about action
Ch.3.X p.95 Selfs are conscious, enduring, reasonable, active, free, and responsible
Ch.4 p.99 In the past people had a reason not to smoke, but didn't realise it
Ch.4.I p.102 Reasons can either be facts in the world, or intentional states
Ch.4.I p.107 Causes (usually events) are not the same as reasons (which are never events)
Ch.4.III p.119 A belief is a commitment to truth
Ch.5.II p.145 An intentional, acting, rational being must have a self
Ch.5.II p.148 If it is true, you ought to believe it
Ch.5.IV p.160 If this is a man, you ought to accept similar things as men
Ch.6 App p.215 Only an internal reason can actually motivate the agent to act
Ch.6.II p.184 We can't understand something as a lie if beliefs aren't commitment to truth
Ch.6.IV p.198 Promises hold because I give myself a reason, not because it is an institution
Ch.8.II p.245 We don't accept practical reasoning if the conclusion is unpalatable
Ch.9 n5 p.293 Users of 'supervenience' blur its causal and constitutive meanings
Int xiv p.-3 Rationality is built into the intentionality of the mind, and its means of expression