Enactivist Interventions: Rethinking the Mind (Review)

Rick Grush’s review of Shaun’s Enactivist Interventions: Rethinking the Mind in Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews.


Pathologizing Ideology, Epistemic Modesty and Instrumental Rationality

Below is my preferred (and crisper) abstract, which for some reason, the typesetters overlooked along with some other stuff. Anyway, the chapter is to be found here.

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Walker Percy, Philosopher (8)

Forthcoming: Walker Percy, Philosopher.

To Take the Writer’s Meaning: An Unpublished Manuscript on “Peirce and Modern Semiotic” by Walker Percy

Kenneth Laine Ketner

Percy has been studied under several headings: Catholic, Southerner, Existentialist. Two such aspects, however, have been neglected: the strong influence of Charles Sanders Peirce, plus Percy’s deep competence in laboratory science. His typescript essay, “Peirce and Modern Semiotic (1959),” presented here, shows that Percy was well ahead of his contemporaries in understanding the scientific and philosophical importance of Peirce’s Semeiotic, the Theory of Semeioses. Percy particularly pointed to the experiential importance of “taking the other’s meaning.” He regarded that common phenomenon as vital, and genuine—a kind of event that behaviorists such as B. F. Skinner or Charles Morris explained away as nothing but a dynamic dyadic causal (or S-R) process. Percy’s essay definitively blocks those reductions.

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Rob Haskell

Today marks the death of my chum Rob Haskell. With hindsight, so much of what Rob told me in his last two years (in person and telephonically) reveals just how profoundly hurt he was: a hurt perpetrated not just by departmental bullies but also by a cowardly lack of gumption in coming to his defence — or as Captain Haddock would say: “Lily-livered landlubbers!” Rob’s crime you may ask? Simply that he was an “unfashionable old white blue-collar male who was just taking up space!” This very unpretentious, kind and gentle soul was thrown to ravenous hyenas that were encircling. The upside to all this (insofar as there is one) is that they will come to tear bits off each other as they are wont to do when on the back foot — and these days they are. This will make for a karma cake with schadenfreude icing.


David Murray

I was lucky enough to have had David Murray as one of my tutors at Birkbeck who I’ve only just discovered, died two years ago (I don’t think I’d any idea that he was originally a Canuck). Here is his obituary in the FT and Toocool2betrue along with a squib from the Edmonton Journal, and so far as I can tell, not a peep emanating from Birkbeck. (David’s sister, Jan Murray died soon after). I’d often wondered whatever became of David since thirty years on, I still harbour very fond memories of our tutorials — long-form conversations on Leibniz on identity and on music in general, always accompanied by a snifter or two from a bottle strategically hidden behind a book on his office book shelf (one would be sent to the gulag for such behaviour these days!). Though I can’t say I knew David well, he struck me as a very patient, gentle, fair, cultivated and, above all, a thoroughly decent chap — virtues in short supply these days. The departmental rumour-mill was that he was pushed out ostensibly because he wasn’t publishing: others more privy to the departmental machinations have told me that the real reason was that “they” resented his having the FT as a parallel gig. Do people not realize that this regressive sour grapes power-grab has being going on now for at least 30 years? Anyway, I raise a glass to the memory of David.


Microblogging and stigmergy

Yet another article that detects a stigmergic dynamic within a digital domain, namely microblogging, made freely available via Sensors.