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					M. Boyle                                                                Philosophy 261: Space, Substance, Self


                            What is it to represent objectively? Some remarks

I.     Kant

       ―[A] judgment [is] a relation which is objectively valid, and so [is] distinguished from a relation
       of the same representations that would have only subjective validity—as when they are
       connected according to laws of association. In the latter case, all that I could say would be, ‗If
       I support a body, I feel an impression of weight‘; I could not say, ‗It, the body, is heavy.‘ Thus
       to say ‗The body is heavy‘ is not merely to state that the two representations have always been
       conjoined in my perception, however often that perception be repeated; what we are asserting
       is that they are combined in the object, no matter what the state of the subject may be.‖

                  Critique of Pure Reason, B142

II.    Strawson

       ―In one‘s own identifying thought… about particulars, one can certainly recognize a certain
       distinction: viz. the distinction between those particular occurrences, processes, states or
       conditions which are experiences or states of consciousness of one‘s own, and those particulars
       which are not experiences or states of consciousness of one‘s own, or of anyone else‘s either.‖

                  Individuals, p. 61

       ―[T]o have a conceptual scheme in which a distinction is made between oneself or one‘s states
       and … items which are not states of oneself, is to have a conceptual scheme in which the
       existence of [such] items is logically independent of the existence of one‘s states or of oneself.
       Thus it is to have a conceptual scheme in which it is logically possible that such items should
       exist whether or not they were being observed, and hence should continue to exist through an
       interval during which they were not being observed.

                  Individuals, p. 72

III.   Evans

       ―We can imagine a series of judgments ‗Warm now‘, ‗Buzzing now‘, made by a subject in
       response to changes in his sensory state, which have no objective significance at all. But we
       can imagine a similar series of judgments, prompted by the same changes in the subject‘s
       sensory state, which do have such a significance: ‗Now it‘s warm‘, ‗Now there‘s a buzzing
       sound‘—comments upon a changing world. What is involved in this change of significance?‖

                  ―Things without the Mind,‖ p. 249

       ―[T]he idea of unperceived existence, or rather the idea of existence now perceived, now
       unperceived, is not an idea that can stand on its own, stand without any surrounding theory.
       How is it possible that phenomena of the very same kind as those of which [the subject] has
       experience should occur in the absence of any experience? Such phenomena are evidently
       perceptible; why should they not be perceived?‖

                  ―Things without the Mind,‖ p. 261
M. Boyle                                                              Philosophy 261: Space, Substance, Self


                                        The Kantian Framework

(1)        Thought about spatiotemporal particulars is the basic kind of objective thought: without
           the capacity for this sort of thought, we would not be able to think objectively at all.

           Compare: ―Thoughts without content are empty‖ (A51/B75).

(2)        In the basic case, thinking about spatiotemporal particulars involves thinking of them as
           possible objects of perception.

           Compare: ―[A]ll thought must… relate ultimately to intuitions, and therefore, with us, to
           sensibility‖ (A19/B33).

(3)        Our capacity to think about spatiotemporal particulars depends on our ability to think of
           them as belonging to reidentifiable kinds.

           Compare: ―Intuitions without concepts are blind‖ (A51/B75).

(4)        We can think about a given object or property only if our power to represent that object
           or property forms part of a general system of representational powers, a system that
           enables us to think a range of other thoughts about the object or property in question.

           Compare: ―[E]very concept must be thought as a representation which is contained in an
           infinite number of different possible representations‖ (A25/B40).

(5)        Our capacity to think objectively depends on our capacity to think of ourselves as such –
           i.e., it depends on our being self-conscious.

           Compare: ―It must be possible for the I think to accompany all of our representations‖
           (B131).

				
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