Monday, July 13, 2009

Rorty on Mental Entities

Two quotes from Richard Rorty on how cognitive science makes a mistake in assuming that entities like “mind,” “consciousness,” “intention,” name essences or substantial entities:

“The Galilean outlook, which says that there is no a priori reason to assume that explanatorily useful terms like ‘consciousness’ and ‘intentionality’ denote properties which have intrinsic natures, or structures which empirical research can uncover.”

“From this Galilean point of view, anything is recontextualizable either into a context-independent substance or into a slice of an indefinitely wide web of relations, depending upon the need of current empirical inquiry. But there is not sense in asking the question ‘Which is it really a substance or a slice?’"

Page 398 from Folk Psychology and the Philosophy of Mind