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Why Philosophers Are Obsessed With Brains in Jars

An old philosophical chestnut discussed in The Atlantic. Words and concepts used by a brain in a vat can’t be meaningfully applied to real objects outside of the brain’s experience, because the ability to have causal interaction with the specific things that words name is inherently how such words acquire meaning, Putnam argued. Artificial intelligenceCognitive…

The Desecularization of Descartes

John Cottingham’s discussion of Descartes has resonance to the way Locke has been treated in the academy. I was astounded going back some 30 years that Locke could be so blithely discussed on a political philosophy course (UCL) with no mention of the vital role God has in his system of ideas — The Reasonableness of…

René Descartes

Born on this day. The following extract from Bernard Williams’ brilliant (but dense) Descartes: The Project of Pure Enquiry. René Descartes was born on 31 March 1596 in a small town near Tours, now called la-Haye-Descartes, where the house of his birth can still be seen. His family belonged to the lesser nobility, his father and…

Retrieving Realism

Speaking of Being in the World this (prima facie) is what one would call a philosophy publishing event. charles taylorCognitionCognitive neuroscienceCognitive scienceconsciousnessDavid HumeDescartesdistributed cognitiondistributed knowledgedonald davidsonEmbodied cognitionEpistemologyHubert DreyfusKantnatural kindsphilosophical psychologyPhilosophy of mindquinerealismRetrieving RealismRortysituated cognitionWittgenstein