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 / B. Foundations for Mathematics / 3. Axioms for Number / g. Incompleteness of Arithmetic
Gödel showed that arithmetic is either incomplete or inconsistent
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
8. Modes of Existence / E. Nominalism / 2. Resemblance Nominalism
Anything bears a family resemblance to a game, but obviously not anything counts as one
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 / D. Empiricism / 1. Empiricism
Empiricism says experience is both origin and justification of all knowledge
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
Descartes put thought at the centre of the mind problem, but we put sensation
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
Mental unity suggests that qualia and intentionality must connect
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 / C. Self-Awareness / 1. Introspection
Experiments prove that people are often unaware of their motives
Brain damage makes the unreliability of introspection obvious
16. Persons / E. Self as Mind / 6. Self as Meta-awareness
Is personal identity largely a matter of nested intentionality?
Self-consciousness may just be nested intentionality
16. Persons / F. Free Will / 1. Free Will / c. Free will critique
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
Behaviourism is eliminative, or reductionist, or methodological
17. Mind and Body / B. Behaviourism / 4. Behaviourism Critique
Animal learning is separate from their behaviour
Behaviour is too contingent and irrelevant to be the mind
Maybe behaviourists should define mental states as a group
How are stimuli and responses 'similar'?
Animals don't just respond to stimuli, they experiment
17. Mind and Body / C. Functionalism / 1. Functionalism
If a normal person lacked a brain, would you say they had no mind?
Dualism and physicalism explain nothing, and don't suggest any research
17. Mind and Body / C. Functionalism / 2. Machine Functionalism
Basic logic can be done by syntax, with no semantics
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. Physicalism / 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. Physicalism / 4. Connectionism
Connectionism assigns numbers to nodes and branches, and plots the outcomes
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
17. Mind and Body / E. Physicalism / 7. Anti-Physicalism / a. Physicalism critique
Physicalism offers something called "complexity" instead of mental substance
Can identity explain reason, free will, non-extension, intentionality, subjectivity, experience?
18. Thought / A. Modes of Thought / 2. Propositional Attitudes
Some attitudes are information (belief), others motivate (hatred)
18. Thought / B. Mechanics of Thought / 2. Mentalese
Animals may also use a language of thought
We train children in truth, not in grammar
18. Thought / B. Mechanics of Thought / 3. Modularity of Mind
Good grammar can't come simply from stimuli
Children speak 90% good grammar
18. Thought / C. Content / 1. Content
Animals map things over time as well as over space
Problem-solving clearly involves manipulating images
18. Thought / C. Content / 6. Broad Content
Simple externalism is that the meaning just is the object
18. Thought / E. Artificial Intelligence / 1. 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
19. Language / B. Meaning / 3. Meaning as Verification
A one hour gap in time might be indirectly verified, but then almost anything could be
19. Language / B. Meaning / 4. Meaning as Use
The meaning of "and" may be its use, but not of "animal"
19. Language / B. Meaning / 9. Meaning Holism
Semantic holism means new evidence for a belief changes the belief, and we can't agree on concepts
19. Language / D. Theories of Reference / 3. Direct Reference / b. Causal reference
If meaning and reference are based on causation, then virtually everything has meaning
Causal theories of reference (by 'dubbing') don't eliminate meanings in the heads of dubbers
19. Language / D. Theories of 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 / H. Pragmatics / 4. 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