Category Archives: Philosophy of Mind

just a thought…

Does anyone else notice how (some of) the online scientific-realism contingent is basically becoming the reformed Calvinism of continental philosophy? This may reveal a bit of ‘naivete’, but are we really back at the place where continental philosophers need to take too seriously questions of determinism and eliminitivism? If the determinist are right, then almost all of the work in recent continental philosophy falls out the window, so one should either find one of the sub-groups within contemporary anglo philosophy who rejects free will. And as for eliminitivism, as I understand it, weren’t the Churchlands basically disregarded by the anglo philosophy world years (and years) ago? I confess I wasn’t studying philosophy a decade ago, and am only familiar with bits and piece of the literature, but speaking with people who were around then, and do know the literature, they seem astonished when they find out young Continental philosophers are taking this stuff seriously again.

I’m just not sure what motivates someone to ‘do’ philosophy if theories such as determinism and eliminativism are right? If there is no such thing as a freely existing subject…then shit…count me out.

(sorry for the micro rant)

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Being No One: Symposia

I’ve been quite useless as far as ‘worthwhile’ blogging goes recently; mostly because I’ve been deeply caught in the throes of both dissertating and procrastinating.

I did recently stumble upon something quite interesting and figured I would share it. In 2005 the journal PSYCHE: an interdisciplinary journal of research on consciousness published a symposia issue focusing on Metzinger’s ‘Being No One’. The full issue is available in free PDF files and consist of a very useful precis of the work by Metzinger, which serves to be quite helpful as not many of us have the time to read the 700+ work in its entirety; as well as commentaries from leading figures who work in what can broadly be defined as ‘neurophilosophy’, or, ‘phenomenology of mind’.  So far I’ve only had the chance to skim the first and last pieces, the later being Dan Zahavi’s essay ‘Being Someone’, and the former being Shaun Gallagher’s ‘Metzinger’s Matrix: Living the Virtual Life with a Real Body’.

Speaking of Zahavi and Gallagher, they recently published a work entitled ‘The Phenomenological Mind’ which seems to be an important intervention in phenomenological approaches to mind and consciousness.  Oddly enough, the journal ABSTRACTA recently published a symposia issue on this work which is also available online here. I haven’t read any of these essays yet, but the precis and response from Gallagher and Zahavi should prove helpful in getting a quick grasp of their overall project at this point.

I hope to get my hands on both these works (Being No One and The Phenomenological Mind) sometime this fall when I start my PhD research, so hopefully I’ll be able to write about each a bit here and have some debate on the ideas present in each work.

That’s all I’ve got for now, back to my comparative study of the subject  in ‘Being and Event’ and ‘Logiques des Mondes’….