Ideas from 'The Rediscovery of the Mind' by John Searle [1992], by Theme Structure

[found in 'The Rediscovery of the Mind' by Searle,John R. [MIT 1999,0-262-69154-x]].

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3. Truth / C. Correspondence Truth / 1. Correspondence Truth
Correspondence to the facts HAS to be the aim of enquiry
                        Full Idea: It does not matter whether "true" does mean corresponds to the facts, because "corresponds to the facts" does mean corresponds to the facts, and any discipline that aims to describe how the world is aims for this correspondence.
                        From: John Searle (The Rediscovery of the Mind [1992], Ch.10.V)
7. Existence / C. Structure of Existence / 2. Reduction
Reduction can be of things, properties, ideas or causes
                        Full Idea: I find at least five different senses of "reduction" in the literature - ontological (genes/DNA), property ontological (heat/mean molecular energy), theoretical (gas laws/statistics), logical/definitional (average plumber), and causal (solids/molecules).
                        From: John Searle (The Rediscovery of the Mind [1992], Ch. 5.II)
                        A reaction: A useful pointer towards some much needed clearer thought about reduction. It is necessary to cross reference this list against reductions which are either ontological or epistemological or linguistic.
7. Existence / C. Structure of Existence / 5. Supervenience / c. Significance of supervenience
Solidity in a piston is integral to its structure, not supervenient
                        Full Idea: Searle's defence of causally efficacious supervenient mind won't work, because, unlike the mind, the solidity of a piston is not a distinct and separate phenomenon from its microstructure.
                        From: comment on John Searle (The Rediscovery of the Mind [1992], Ch. 5.V) by Keith T. Maslin - Introduction to the Philosophy of Mind 7.6
                        A reaction: Searle struggles to find analogies for his position - and that, in my view, is highly significant in the philosophy of mind. If there is nothing else like your proposed theory, it is probably just human vainglory.
Is supervenience just causality?
                        Full Idea: For Searle the supervenience relation is just causality.
                        From: report of John Searle (The Rediscovery of the Mind [1992], Ch. 5.V) by Keith T. Maslin - Introduction to the Philosophy of Mind 7.6
                        A reaction: 'Supervenience' seems, in that case, to be an irrelevant word, which was only used when the mind-body connection was a bit loose and mysterious. Mind is identical to brain, or a property of the brain. I like 'process of the brain'.
7. Existence / D. Theories of Reality / 5. Physicalism
Reality is entirely particles in force fields
                        Full Idea: One can accept the obvious facts of physics, that the world consists entirely of physical particles in fields of force.
                        From: John Searle (The Rediscovery of the Mind [1992], Intro)
                        A reaction: I agree with this proposal, with the cautious proviso that physics may discover further basic aspects to reality. The only obstacles to this view are possible divine and mental substances, neither of which is supported by adequate evidence.
8. Modes of Existence / B. Properties / 7. Emergent Properties
Some properties depend on components, others on their relations
                        Full Idea: Some system features cannot be figured out just from the composition of the elements of the system and environmental relations; they have to be explained in terms of causal relations among the elements.
                        From: John Searle (The Rediscovery of the Mind [1992], Ch. 5.I)
                        A reaction: One must explain at the molecular level why an apple skin is both red and smooth. In the brain one must explain the movement of glucose and the contents of thoughts by their causal relations (I say).
Fully 'emergent' properties contradict our whole theory of causation
                        Full Idea: The existence of any fully 'emergent' properties (that have a life of their own) violates even the weakest principle of the transitivity of causation.
                        From: John Searle (The Rediscovery of the Mind [1992], Ch. 5.I)
                        A reaction: When Searle talks like this, he sounds like a thoroughgoing reductive physicalist (but is he really?). Any philosopher of mind who uses the word 'emergence' must say EXACTLY what they mean by it.
11. Knowledge Aims / A. Knowledge / 4. Belief / e. Belief holism
Beliefs only make sense as part of a network of other beliefs
                        Full Idea: To have one belief or desire, I have to have a whole network of other beliefs and desires.
                        From: John Searle (The Rediscovery of the Mind [1992], Ch. 8.I)
Beliefs are part of a network, and also exist against a background
                        Full Idea: We need to postulate a network of beliefs, and also a background of capacities that are not themselves part of the network.
                        From: John Searle (The Rediscovery of the Mind [1992], Ch. 8.I)
12. Knowledge Sources / B. Perception / 5. Interpretation
Perception is a function of expectation
                        Full Idea: Psychologists have a lot of evidence to show that perception is a function of expectation.
                        From: John Searle (The Rediscovery of the Mind [1992], Ch. 6.I.7)
12. Knowledge Sources / E. Direct Knowledge / 4. Memory
Memory is mainly a guide for current performance
                        Full Idea: We should think of memory as a mechanism for generating current performance, including conscious thoughts and actions, on the basis of past experience.
                        From: John Searle (The Rediscovery of the Mind [1992], Ch. 8.III)
                        A reaction: This seems to be falling into the fallacy of causal and functional theories, which Searle normally dislikes. If memory serves to aid current performance, that doesn't say what memory IS, any more than a foot is defined by walking.
15. Nature of Minds / A. Nature of Mind / 4. Other Minds / c. Knowing other minds
We don't have a "theory" that other people have minds
                        Full Idea: Except when doing philosophy there is no "problem" of other minds, because we do not hold a "hypothesis" or "belief" or "supposition" that other people are conscious.
                        From: John Searle (The Rediscovery of the Mind [1992], Ch. 3.IV)
                        A reaction: Our commitment to other minds is so deep-ingrained that it is a candidate for one of Hume's 'natural beliefs', or even (a step further) for an innate idea. Babies have an innate recognition of faces, so why can't an expectation of a mind be hard-wired?
15. Nature of Minds / A. Nature of Mind / 4. Other Minds / d. Other minds by analogy
Other minds are not inferred by analogy, but are our best explanation
                        Full Idea: If we inferred other minds simply from behaviour, we would conclude that radios are conscious; it is rather the combination of behaviour with knowledge of the causal underpinnings of behaviour.
                        From: John Searle (The Rediscovery of the Mind [1992], Ch. 1.V.4)
                        A reaction: Personally I am inclined to think that Searle has said the last word on the fairly uninteresting problem of other minds. Dualism generates a deep privacy problem, and analogy is a flawed argument, but best explanation is exactly what we rely on.
15. Nature of Minds / A. Nature of Mind / 5. Unity of Mind
We experience unity at an instant and across time
                        Full Idea: We experience 'horizontal unity' in the organisation of conscious experiences through short stretches of time, and 'vertical unity' in simultaneous awareness of diverse features of our experience.
                        From: John Searle (The Rediscovery of the Mind [1992], Ch. 6.I.2)
                        A reaction: See Betjeman's poem "On the Ninth Green at St Enedoc". The brain is an information-unification machine, and 'I' am located at the crossroads where these unifications meet. Analysis of mind is good for us, but so is reunification afterwards.
15. Nature of Minds / B. Features of Minds / 1. Consciousness / b. Essence of consciousness
The mind experiences space, but it is not experienced as spatial
                        Full Idea: Although we experience objects both spatially and temporally, our consciousness itself is not experienced as spatial, though it is experienced as temporally extended.
                        From: John Searle (The Rediscovery of the Mind [1992], Ch. 6)
                        A reaction: This observation was made by Descartes. This seems to require that I experience objects spatially, AND experience my consciousness. Do I experience the time passing, as well as the river moving? Einstein says if it is in time, it must be in space.
15. Nature of Minds / B. Features of Minds / 1. Consciousness / d. Purpose of consciousness
Conscious creatures seem able to discriminate better
                        Full Idea: Apparently it is just a fact of biology that organisms that have consciousness have, in general, much greater powers of discrimination than those that do not.
                        From: John Searle (The Rediscovery of the Mind [1992], Ch. 4.III)
                        A reaction: This presupposes knowledge of which creatures are conscious. Clearly colour vision gives more information than monochrome vision. But presumably a computer could process more visual information than I could see. It doesn't have a fovea centralis.
15. Nature of Minds / B. Features of Minds / 2. Unconscious Mind
Unconscious thoughts are those capable of causing conscious ones
                        Full Idea: The ontology of the unconscious consists in objective features of the brain capable of causing subjective conscious thoughts.
                        From: John Searle (The Rediscovery of the Mind [1992], Ch. 7.II.7)
                        A reaction: As it stands, this definition would fit a brain tumour. I think Searle is wrong. There is no sharp line between conscious and non-conscious brain events. Research has surely made it clear that dim brain events directly intrude into my conscious states.
Consciousness results directly from brain processes, not from some intermediary like information
                        Full Idea: There are brain processes and consciousness, but nothing in between; no rule following, information processing, unconscious inferences, mental models, language of thought or universal grammar.
                        From: John Searle (The Rediscovery of the Mind [1992], Ch.10.II)
                        A reaction: The core of Searle's view. He likes to call consciousness a 'property' of brains. Edelman says consciousness IS a brain process. Essentially I agree with Searle. An unusual physical object can produce consciousness, but mere 'rules' etc. cannot.
15. Nature of Minds / B. Features of Minds / 4. Intentionality / a. Nature of intentionality
Either there is intrinsic intentionality, or everything has it
                        Full Idea: If you deny the distinction between intrinsic and derived ('as-if') intentionality, then it follows that everything in the universe has intentionality (for example, stones seem to want to fall).
                        From: John Searle (The Rediscovery of the Mind [1992], Ch. 3.IV)
                        A reaction: Searle makes this claim because he always takes mental phenomena like intentionality or consciousness to be all-or-nothing - and he's wrong. He refuses to acknowledge non-conscious intentional states - and he's wrong again.
Water flowing downhill can be described as if it had intentionality
                        Full Idea: Water flowing downhill can be described AS IF it had intentionality: it tries to get to the bottom by seeking the line of least resistance through information processing and calculation…
                        From: John Searle (The Rediscovery of the Mind [1992], Ch. 7.II.1)
                        A reaction: John Searle could be described as if he had intentionality, as his neurons chart their way through the information and desires that flood them. I am wary of his all-or-nothing approach to intentionality.
Intentional phenomena only make sense within a background
                        Full Idea: Intentional phenomena such as meanings, understandings, interpretations, beliefs, desires, and experiences only function within a set of Background capacities that are not themselves intentional.
                        From: John Searle (The Rediscovery of the Mind [1992], Ch. 8.I)
                        A reaction: Why would the background not be intentional? Presumably the background is a set of beliefs about, or images of, how the world is taken to be.
15. Nature of Minds / B. Features of Minds / 4. Intentionality / b. Intentionality theories
Consciousness is essential and basic to intentionality
                        Full Idea: I claim that only a being that could have conscious intentional states could have intentional states at all, and every unconscious intentional state is at least potentially conscious.
                        From: John Searle (The Rediscovery of the Mind [1992], Ch. 6.I.5)
                        A reaction: The alternative to this is that robots and lower animals might have non-conscious states which are about something, because they process useful information but are unaware of it. If so, parts of the human mind might do the same, as in blindsight.
Intentionality is defined in terms of representation
                        Full Idea: Intentionality is defined in terms of representation.
                        From: John Searle (The Rediscovery of the Mind [1992], Ch. 8.III)
                        A reaction: Sounds okay, but representation of a tree (say) can be understood in imagistic terms, whereas extremely abstract concepts are a bit baffling. Then we realise that we conceive trees in that way as well, not as images.
15. Nature of Minds / B. Features of Minds / 5. Qualia / b. Qualia and intentionality
Pain is not intentional, because it does not represent anything beyond itself
                        Full Idea: If I am conscious of a pain, the pain is not intentional, because it does not represent anything beyond itself.
                        From: John Searle (The Rediscovery of the Mind [1992], Ch. 4.1)
                        A reaction: Crane quotes this to challenge it. Pain may be about apparent damage to the body. Pains are certainly informative.
16. Persons / C. Self-Awareness / 1. Introspection
Neither introspection nor privileged access makes sense
                        Full Idea: We have the visual metaphor of introspection, and the spatial metaphor of privileged access, but neither one works because I am the thing being viewed, and I am the space being entered.
                        From: John Searle (The Rediscovery of the Mind [1992], Ch. 4.II)
                        A reaction: This is quite a good warning against reliance on analogies when dealing with the unique problem of self-knowledge, though the phrase 'hall-of-mirrors' draws assent from most people concerning that topic.
Introspection is just thinking about mental states, not a special sort of vision
                        Full Idea: If by "introspection" we mean simply thinking about our own mental states, then there is no objection to introspection, but if we mean a special capacity like vision of looking inwards, there is no such capacity.
                        From: John Searle (The Rediscovery of the Mind [1992], Ch. 6.II.2)
                        A reaction: This seems to beg the question of how we can be aware of our mental states in order to think about them. One might image that some animals have mental states, but are quite unaware that they have them, because they are totally focused on content.
16. Persons / C. Self-Awareness / 3. Limits of Introspection
I cannot observe my own subjectivity
                        Full Idea: I cannot observe my own subjectivity.
                        From: John Searle (The Rediscovery of the Mind [1992], Ch. 4.II)
                        A reaction: I'm not quite clear what Searle is complaining about. He knows very clearly that there is a subjective aspect to his life - so how does he know that fact? There must be something supporting this widely held belief.
17. Mind and Body / A. Mind-Body Dualism / 2. Interactionism
Mind and brain don't interact if they are the same
                        Full Idea: There is no "link" between consciousness and the brain, any more than there is a link between the liquidity of water and the H2O molecules.
                        From: John Searle (The Rediscovery of the Mind [1992], Ch. 4.III)
                        A reaction: We say of some properties that 'x is F', and of others that 'x has F', and of others that 'x is F because of y' (as in a knife having sharpness because it is thin and hard). Consciousness might fit the third case just as well as the first.
17. Mind and Body / A. Mind-Body Dualism / 7. Zombies
Without internal content, a zombie's full behaviour couldn't be explained
                        Full Idea: There could be no intentional zombie, because (unlike with a conscious agent) there simply is no fact of the matter as to exactly which aspectual shapes its alleged intentional states have. Is it seeking water or H2O?
                        From: John Searle (The Rediscovery of the Mind [1992], Ch. 7.III)
                        A reaction: The obvious response to this is behaviourist talk of 'dispositions'. The dispositions of scientist when seeking water and when seeking H2O are different. Zombies behave identically to us, so their intentional states have whatever is needed to do the job.
17. Mind and Body / B. Behaviourism / 4. Behaviourism Critique
Mental states only relate to behaviour contingently, not necessarily
                        Full Idea: I believe that the relation of mental states to behaviour is purely contingent.
                        From: John Searle (The Rediscovery of the Mind [1992], Ch. 1.V.5)
                        A reaction: I don't think I agree, though it will depend on where you draw the line between mental states and behaviour. Since there have never been two identical states since the beginning of time, it is a little hard to test this one.
Wanting H2O only differs from wanting water in its mental component
                        Full Idea: If a person exhibits water-seeking behaviour, they also exhibit H2O-seeking behaviour, so there is no way the behaviour itself, without reference to a mental component, can constitute wanting water rather than H2O.
                        From: John Searle (The Rediscovery of the Mind [1992], Ch. 7.II.4)
                        A reaction: What about the behaviour of responding to the discovery that this stuff isn't actually H2O? Or the disposition to choose the real thing rather than ersatz water? An interesting comment, though.
17. Mind and Body / C. Functionalism / 1. Functionalism
Functionalists like the externalist causal theory of reference
                        Full Idea: Functionalism has been rejuvenated by being joined to externalist causal theories of reference.
                        From: John Searle (The Rediscovery of the Mind [1992], Ch. 2.VIII)
                        A reaction: This, however, seems to be roughly the reason why Putnam gave up his functionalist theory. See Ideas 2332 and 2071. However the causal network of mind can incorporate environmental features.
17. Mind and Body / C. Functionalism / 7. Chinese Room
A program for Chinese translation doesn't need to understand Chinese
                        Full Idea: A computer, me for example, could run the steps in the program for some mental capacity, such as understanding Chinese, without understanding a word of Chinese.
                        From: John Searle (The Rediscovery of the Mind [1992], Ch. 9.II)
                        A reaction: I don't think this is true. I could recite a bit of Chinese without comprehension, but giving flexible answers to complex questions isn't plausible just by gormlessly implementing a procedure.
17. Mind and Body / C. Functionalism / 8. Functionalism critique
If we are computers, who is the user?
                        Full Idea: If the brain is a digital computer, we are still faced with the question 'Who is the user?'
                        From: John Searle (The Rediscovery of the Mind [1992], Ch. 9.VI)
                        A reaction: A very nice question. Our whole current concept of a computer involves the unmentioned user. We don't have to go all mystical about persons, though. Robots aren't logically impossible.
Computation presupposes consciousness
                        Full Idea: Most of the works I have seen in the computational theory of the mind commit some variation on the homunculus fallacy.
                        From: John Searle (The Rediscovery of the Mind [1992], Ch. 9.VI)
                        A reaction: This will be because there is an unspoken user for the inner computer. But see Fodor's view (Idea 2506). The key idea here is Dennett's: that not all regresses are vicious. My mind controller isn't like all of me.
17. Mind and Body / D. Property Dualism / 3. Property Dualism
Property dualism is the reappearance of Cartesianism
                        Full Idea: Opponents of materialism tend to embrace "property dualism", thus accepting the Cartesian apparatus that I had thought long discredited.
                        From: John Searle (The Rediscovery of the Mind [1992], Intro)
                        A reaction: This seems to be precisely the current situation. Cartesian dualism is thoroughly marginalised (but still whimpering in the corner), and the real battle is between physicalism and property dualism. The latter is daft.
Property dualists tend to find the mind-body problem baffling
                        Full Idea: Property dualists (e.g. Nagel and McGinn) think that the mind-body problem is frightfully difficult, perhaps altogether insoluble.
                        From: John Searle (The Rediscovery of the Mind [1992], Ch. 1.I)
                        A reaction: Nagel's problem is that our concepts aren't up to it; McGinn's is that the very structure of our minds isn't up to it. My view is that the difficulty is the complexity we are up against, not the ontology.
Consciousness is a brain property as liquidity is a water property
                        Full Idea: Consciousness is a higher-level or emergent property of the brain, but only in the sense that solidity is an emergent property of water when it is ice, and liquidity when it melts.
                        From: John Searle (The Rediscovery of the Mind [1992], Ch. 1.IV)
                        A reaction: It is hard to know which side Searle is on. These examples are highly reductive, and make him a thoroughgoing reductive physicalist (with which I agree).
Property dualism denies reductionism
                        Full Idea: What is property dualism but the view that there are irreducible mental properties?
                        From: John Searle (The Rediscovery of the Mind [1992], Ch. 5.III)
                        A reaction: Being red and being square are separate, but they are both entailed by the material basis, and hence are reducible. Properties may not link directly, but they must link indirectly.
17. Mind and Body / D. Property Dualism / 5. Supervenience of mind
Mind and brain are supervenient in respect of cause and effect
                        Full Idea: Mind is supervenient on brain in the following respect: type-identical neurophysiological causes have type-identical mentalistic effects.
                        From: John Searle (The Rediscovery of the Mind [1992], Ch. 5.V)
                        A reaction: An interesting statement of what might be meant by 'supervenience'. Searle's version implies necessity in the link (but not identity). I take him to imply that a zombie is impossible.
If mind-brain supervenience isn't causal, this implies epiphenomenalism
                        Full Idea: There are constitutive and causal notions of supervenience. Kim claims that mental events have no causal role, and merely supervene on brain events which do (which implies epiphenomenalism). But it seems obvious that mind is caused by brain.
                        From: John Searle (The Rediscovery of the Mind [1992], Ch. 5.V)
                        A reaction: Personally I think the whole discussion is doomed to confusion because it is riddled with a priori dualism. There is no all-or-nothing boundary between 'mind' and 'brain'. Kim's views have changed.
Mental events can cause even though supervenient, like the solidity of a piston
                        Full Idea: That mental features supervene on neuronal features in no way diminishes their causal efficacy. The solidity of the piston is supervenient on its molecular structure, but this does not make solidity epiphenomenal.
                        From: John Searle (The Rediscovery of the Mind [1992], Ch. 5.V)
                        A reaction: Searle's examples never seem to quite fit what he is saying. Molecules and solidity are supervenient because they are identical (solidity is the presence of certain molecules). Solidity doesn't have causal powers that molecules lack.
Upwards mental causation makes 'supervenience' irrelevant
                        Full Idea: Once you recognise the existence of bottom-up, micro to macro forms of causation, the notion of supervenience no longer does any work in philosophy.
                        From: John Searle (The Rediscovery of the Mind [1992], Ch. 5.V)
                        A reaction: I'm not sure if the notion of supervenience ever did any work. Davidson only fished up the word because none of the normal relationships between things seemed to apply (and he was wrong about that).
17. Mind and Body / D. Property Dualism / 6. Mysterianism
Consciousness seems indefinable by conditions or categories
                        Full Idea: We can't define "consciousness" by necessary and sufficient conditions, or by the Aristotelian method of genus and differentia.
                        From: John Searle (The Rediscovery of the Mind [1992], Ch. 4.I)
                        A reaction: We may not be able to 'define' it, but we can 'characterise' it. The third approach to definition is a catalogue of essential properties, which might tail off rather vaguely.
17. Mind and Body / E. Mind as Physical / 2. Reduction of Mind
Can the homunculus fallacy be beaten by recursive decomposition?
                        Full Idea: The idea (of Dennett and others) is that recursive decomposition will eliminate the homunculi.
                        From: John Searle (The Rediscovery of the Mind [1992], Ch. 9.VI)
                        A reaction: Lycan is the best exponent of this view, which I like. My brain clearly has a substantial homunculus which I call my PA; it regularly reminds of what I have to do in an hour's time. I am sure it is composed of smaller brain components working as a team.
Searle argues that biology explains consciousness, but physics won't explain biology
                        Full Idea: Searle appears to argue that phenomenal consciousness is explained in biological terms, but that biological properties are irreducible to purely (micro)physical ones.
                        From: report of John Searle (The Rediscovery of the Mind [1992]) by U Kriegel / K Williford - Intro to 'Self-Representational Consciousness' n1
                        A reaction: Searle is very hard to pin down, and this account suggests the reason very clearly - because he is proposing something which is bizarrely implausible. The reduction of biology-to-physics looks much more likely than consciousness-to-biology.
If mind is caused by brain, does this mean mind IS brain?
                        Full Idea: I hold a view of mind/brain relations that is a form of causal reduction (mental features are caused by biological processes), but does this imply ontological reduction? (…No!)
                        From: John Searle (The Rediscovery of the Mind [1992], Ch. 5.II.5)
                        A reaction: What exactly is his claim? Presumably 'causal reduction' implies identity of (philosophical) substance. This seems to imply 'emergence' in a rather old-fashioned and dramatic way, though elsewhere Searle denies this.
17. Mind and Body / E. Mind as Physical / 7. Anti-Physicalism / b. Multiple realisability
If mind is multiply realisable, it is possible that anything could realise it
                        Full Idea: The same principle that implies multiple realisability would seem to imply universal realisability. …Any object whatever could have syntactical ascriptions made to it.
                        From: John Searle (The Rediscovery of the Mind [1992], Ch. 9.V)
                        A reaction: This leads to rather weak reductio objections to functionalism. Logically there may be no restriction on how to implement a mind, but naturally there are very tight restrictions. Stick to neurons seems the best strategy.
18. Thought / A. Modes of Thought / 4. Folk Psychology
We don't postulate folk psychology, we experience it
                        Full Idea: We do not postulate beliefs and desires to account for anything; we simply experience conscious beliefs and desires.
                        From: John Searle (The Rediscovery of the Mind [1992], Ch. 2 App)
                        A reaction: Searle is too fond of reporting what we 'simply' know. Beliefs and desires are pushed forward by a cultural tradition. What I actually experience is a confusion, always laced with emotion.
18. Thought / B. Mechanics of Thought / 6. Artificial Thought / b. Turing Machines
Computation isn't a natural phenomenon, it is a way of seeing phenomena
                        Full Idea: Computational states are not discovered within the physics, they are assigned to the physics.
                        From: John Searle (The Rediscovery of the Mind [1992], Ch. 9.V)
                        A reaction: The key idea in Searle's later thinking, with which I have some sympathy. There always seems to be a sneaky dualism buried deep in Searle's physicalism. Computation is very high-level physics.
18. Thought / C. Content / 1. Content
Content is much more than just sentence meaning
                        Full Idea: Sentence meaning radically underdetermines the content of what is said.
                        From: John Searle (The Rediscovery of the Mind [1992], Ch. 8.II)
                        A reaction: We have body language, and we have tone, and we have context, and we have speaker's and listener's meanings. I take sentence meaning to be the basis which makes the rest possible.
18. Thought / C. Content / 6. Broad Content
There is no such thing as 'wide content'
                        Full Idea: I don't believe in the existence of 'wide content'.
                        From: John Searle (The Rediscovery of the Mind [1992], Ch. 3.IV)
                        A reaction: I sort of agree, but if I accept the rulings of experts (e.g. that water is really H2O), I am admitting that what I mean may not be in my head.
18. Thought / C. Content / 7. Narrow Content
We explain behaviour in terms of actual internal representations in the agent
                        Full Idea: In intentional explanations of behaviour patterns in the behaviour are explained by the fact that the agent has a representation of that very pattern in its intentional apparatus, which functions causally in the production of the behaviour.
                        From: John Searle (The Rediscovery of the Mind [1992], Ch.10.IV)
                        A reaction: Problem cases would be where someone's behaviour doesn't come out quite as planned (e.g. the sentence spoken failed to match the proposition intended), and panic behaviour.
19. Language / A. Nature of Meaning / 1. Meaning
Meaning is derived intentionality
                        Full Idea: Meaning is derived intentionality.
                        From: John Searle (The Rediscovery of the Mind [1992], Intro)
                        A reaction: That still leaves something very difficult to explain - how the intentionality of mental events can be 'transferred' to symbolic forms which can exist outside the mind.
19. Language / A. Nature of Meaning / 2. Meaning as Mental
Philosophy of language is a branch of philosophy of mind
                        Full Idea: On my view, the philosophy of language is a branch of the philosophy of mind.
                        From: John Searle (The Rediscovery of the Mind [1992], Intro)
                        A reaction: Inclined to agree with this. Intentionality and meaning are virtually the same thing. The role of language in thought has been grossly overrated in modern philosophy.
19. Language / C. Assigning Meanings / 1. Syntax
Universal grammar doesn't help us explain anything
                        Full Idea: No further predictive or explanatory power is added by saying that there is in addition a level of deep unconscious rules of universal grammar.
                        From: John Searle (The Rediscovery of the Mind [1992], Ch.10.IV)
                        A reaction: I would have thought that neuroscientists would be very interested in this prediction, if it were convincing enough. Nothing to stop us from trying to infer the nature of something which is beyond our reach.
19. Language / F. Communication / 6. Interpreting Language / b. Indeterminate translation
Shared Background makes translation possible, though variation makes it hard
                        Full Idea: Difference in local Backgrounds make translation from one language to another difficult; the commonality of deep Background makes it possible at all.
                        From: John Searle (The Rediscovery of the Mind [1992], Ch. 8.V)
                        A reaction: That is a very good observation about what is normally swept under the one umbrella of the 'principle of charity'. Quine exaggerated the local, and Davidson exaggerated the deep.
22. Metaethics / A. Value / 2. Values / i. Successful function
The function of a heart depends on what we want it to do
                        Full Idea: If the only thing that interested us about the heart was that it made a thumping noise, we would have a completely different conception of its "functioning", and correspondingly of heart disease.
                        From: John Searle (The Rediscovery of the Mind [1992], Ch.10.III)
26. Natural Theory / A. Speculations on Nature / 2. Natural Purpose / c. Purpose denied
Chemistry entirely explains plant behaviour
                        Full Idea: Variable secretions of auxin account for a plant's behaviour in following the sun, without any extra hypothesis of purpose, teleology, or intentionality.
                        From: John Searle (The Rediscovery of the Mind [1992], Ch.10.II)
27. Natural Reality / G. Biology / 3. Evolution
Mind involves fighting, fleeing, feeding and fornicating
                        Full Idea: Our conscious life involves the famous "four f's", fighting, fleeing, feeding and fornicating.
                        From: John Searle (The Rediscovery of the Mind [1992], Ch.10.I)
28. God / A. Divine Nature / 4. Divine Contradictions
You can only know the limits of knowledge if you know the other side of the limit
                        Full Idea: To know the limits of knowledge, we would have to know both sides of the limit.
                        From: John Searle (The Rediscovery of the Mind [1992], Ch. 1.V.6)