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Philosophy: Vol. 89, No. 3, July 2014.

Perception: Where Mind Begins, TYLER BURGE

What are the earliest beings that have minds in evolutionary order? Two marks of mind are consciousness and representation. This paper focuses on representation. It distinguishes a psychologically distinctive notion of representation from a family of notions, often called "representation," that invoke information, causation, and/or function. The psychologically distinctive notion implies that a representational state has veridicality conditions as an aspect of its nature. Perception is the most primitive type of representational state. It is a natural psychological kind, recognized in a mature science: perceptual psychology. This kind involves a type of objectification, and is marked by perceptual constancies. The simplest animals known to exhibit perceptual constancies, perception, and representation in a distinctively psychological sense, are certain arthropods. Representational mind, or representational psychology, begins in the arthropods. We lack scientific knowledge about the beginnings of consciousness. Consciousness is neither necessary nor sufficient for perception. The paper concludes by reflecting on the kinds mind and psychology.


In some recent papers the author has that the concept "good-for" is prior to the concept of "good" (in the sense in which final ends are good), and exploring the implications of that claim. One of those implications is that everything that is good is good for someone. That implication seems to fall afoul of our intuitions about certain cases, such as the intuition that a world full of happy people and animals is better than a world full of miserable ones, even if the people and animals are different in the two cases, so that there is no one for whom the second world is better. Such cases tempt people to think that there must be impersonal goods, and that what it means to say that something is good for you is that you are the one who "has" some impersonal good. This paper argues that if we approach things in this way, it is impossible to say what the "having" consists of, what relation it names. This leads to a discussion of various things we do mean by saying that something is good for someone, how they are related to each other, and what sorts of entities can "have a good." Finally, this paper explains why we think that a world full of happy people and animals is better than a world full of miserable ones, even if the people and animals are different in the two cases.

Who's Afraid of Determinism? LESLIE STEVENSON

Because of the idealizations involved in the ideas of a total state of the world and of all the laws of nature, the thesis of all-encompassing determinism is unverifiable. Our everyday nonscientific talk of causation does not imply determinism; nor is it needed for the Kantian argument for a general causal framework as a condition for experience of an objective world. Determinism is at best a regulative ideal for science, something to be approached but never reached.

Clarity in Philosophy, BRYAN MAGEE

Some philosophy--Wittgenstein's would be an example--is written in clear sentences, yet most people find it obscure at a first reading. This is because the prime location of clarity in philosophy is not sentences but structures. Only if a reader can relate what he is currently reading to a wider framework does he know where he is. Coherent utterance in all discursive media--not only language but mathematics, for example, or music--possesses two kinds of structure at the same time. In this article these are distinguished, and their radically different relationships with language shown. In the process, the commonest causes of unclarity are also identified.

Augustine and Ibn Sina on Souls in the Afterlife, GARETH MATTHEWS

This paper examines significant similarities between the views of Augustine and Ibn Sina on the soul's knowledge of itself. But there is also an intriguing difference. Ibn Sina wanted to be able to supply a satisfying account of the individuation of souls in the afterlife but was unable to provide it. Augustine, by contrast, though seemingly not especially interested in supplying any such account, nevertheless attributed to separated souls a desire to return to their very own bodies, which suggests a way of developing such an account.
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Publication:The Review of Metaphysics
Article Type:Abstract
Date:Sep 1, 2014
Previous Article:The Monist: Vol. 97, Issue 7, October 2014.
Next Article:Philosophy and Phenomenological Research: Vol. 89, No. 1, July 2014.

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