Thinking It Through

Topics: Philosophy, Mind, Philosophy of mind Pages: 554 (161638 words) Published: October 27, 2014
Thinking It Through:
An Introduction to
Contemporary
Philosophy

Kwame Anthony Appiah

OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS

Thinking It Through

Thinking It Through

AN I NTRODUCTION TO CONTE M PO RARY
PH I LOSOPHY

Kwame Anthony Appiah

Oxford New York
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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

ISBN 0–19–516028–2

987654321
Printed in the United States of America on acid-free paper

CONTENTS

Preface ix
Introduction: A Few Preliminaries xi

CHAPTER 1: MIND 1

1.1 Introduction. 1. 1.2 Descartes: The beginnings of modern philosophy of mind. 5. 1.3 The private-language argument. 12. 1.4 Computers as models of the mind. 19. 1.5 Why should there be a functionalist theory? 22. 1.6 Functionalism: A first problem. 23. 1.7 A simple-minded functionalist theory of pain. 25. 1.8 Ramsey’s solution to the first problem. 26. 1.9 Functionalism: A second problem. 28. 1.10 M again. 29. 1.11 Consciousness. 31. 1.12 The puzzle of the physical. 36. 1.13 Conclusion. 37.

CHAPTER 2: KNOWLEDGE 39

2.1 Introduction. 39. 2.2 Plato: Knowledge as justified true belief. 41. 2.3 Descartes’ way: Justification requires certainty. 44. 2.4 Locke’s way: Justification can be less than certain. 53. 2.5 The foundations of knowledge. 57. 2.6 Ways around skepticism I: Verificationism. 61. 2.7 Ways around skepticism II: Causal theories of knowledge. 66. 2.8 Causal theories contrasted with traditional accounts of justification. 70. 2.9 Epistemology naturalized. 74. 2.10 Conclusion. 77.

CHAPTER 3: LANGUAGE 79

3.1 Introduction. 79. 3.2 The linguistic turn. 80. 3.3 The beetle in the box. 84. 3.4 Frege’s “sense” and “reference.” 87. 3.5 Predicates and open v

Contents

vi

sentences. 92. 3.6 Problems of intensionality. 96. 3.7 Truth conditions and possible worlds. 99. 3.8 Analytic-synthetic and necessary-contingent. 102. 3.9 Natural language and logical form. 106. 3.10 Using logic: Truth preservation, probability, and the lottery paradox. 113. 3.11 Logical truth and logical properties. 115. 3.12 Conventions of language. 117. 3.13 The paradox of analysis. 120. 3.14 Conclusion. 124.

CHAPTER 4: SCIENCE 127

4.1 Introduction. 127. 4.2 Description and prescription. 129. 4.3 An example: Gregor Mendel’s genetic theory. 130. 4.4 Theory and observation. 136. 4.5 The received view of theories. 141. 4.6 The deductive-nomological model of explanation. 145. 4.7 Theory reduction and instrumentalism. 148. 4.8 Theory-ladenness. 152. 4.9 Justifying theories I: The problem of induction. 157. 4.10 Goodman’s new riddle of induction. 161. 4.11 Justifying theories II: Popper and falsification. 163. 4.12 Justifying theories III: Inference to the best explanation. 167. 4.13 Laws and causation. 171. 4.14 Conclusion. 174.

CHAPTER 5: MORALITY 177

5.1 Introduction. 177. 5.2 Facts and values. 180. 5.3 Realism and emotivism. 183. 5.4 Intuitionism. 187. 5.5 Emotivism again. 191. 5.6 Kant’s universalizability principle. 197. 5.7 Dealing with relativism. 201. 5.8 Prescriptivism and supervenience. 204. 5.9 Problems of utilitarianism I: Defining “utility.” 205. 5.10 Problems of utilitarianism II: Consequentialism versus absolutism. 208. 5.11 Rights. 213. 5.12 Self and others. 215. 5.13 Conclusion. 217.

CHAPTER 6: POLITICS 221

6.1 Introduction. 221. 6.2 Hobbes:...

References: Body Problem,” Scientific American 244.1 (1981): 114–123.
(Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA, 1980), Volume I, p. 174.
University Press, Cambridge, 1980).
Stephen Stich, From Folk Psychology to Cognitive Science: The Case Against
Belief (Bradford Books/MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, 1983).
Daniel Dennett, The Intentional Stance (Bradford Books/MIT Press,
Cambridge, MA, 1987).
The argument of this section was suggested to me by Galen Strawson’s Mental
Reality (MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, 1994).
Irving Thalberg’s “In Defense of Justified True Belief” (referred to here) is
in the Journal of Philosophy 66 (1969).
45 (1936): 146–170, reprinted in Herbert Feigl and Wilfred Sellars, eds.,
Readings in Philosophical Analysis (Appleton-Century-Crofts, New York, 1948).
2.7 Gettier’s “Is Justified True Belief Knowledge?” appeared originally in the journal
Analysis 23.6 (1963)
2.7 Alvin I. Goldman’s paper “Discrimination and Perceptual Knowledge,” which
appeared originally in The Journal of Philosophy 73.20 (1976), is reprinted in G.
Pappas and M. Swain, eds., Knowledge and Justification (Cornell University Press,
Ithaca and London, 1978)
2.9 The quotation is from Ontological Relativity and Other Essays (New York,
Columbia University Press, 1969), p
Quine, L. E. Hahn and P. A. Schilpp, eds. (Open Court, La Salle, 1986), pp.
York, 1996).
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