Our goal in the course is to read two recent papers proposing a somewhat new idea about how to deal with so-called "Frege cases". These are a paper of mine, "Solving Frege's Puzzle", and an as yet unpublished paper by Jim Pryor, "Mental Graphs". We'll read these toward the end. Most of our time will be spent developing the background that is necessary to see why such a radical approach might seem like a good idea. As it happens, our focus will be more on philosophy of mind than on philosophy of language, but this kind of issue tends to straddle that border.
Meetings are held Wednesday, 3-5.30, in Corliss-Brackett, Room 106 (the seminar room).
The instructor is Richard Heck. Office hours are Monday 1-2 and Friday 11-12.
There are no required books. We will, though, be reading two chapters of Jerry Fodor's book The Elm and the Expert, so it wouldn't be a terrible idea to get a copy from your favorite bookstore. Alternatively, the book is available from Brown's Digital Library.
All the readings are available via the links on this website. Where possible, links are to publicly available sources, but some are available only to enrolled students and require a username and password.
To view the PDFs, you will of course need a PDF reader, which you probably already have.
Many of the files are only available in DjVu, however, and most of the PDFs are also available as DjVu, in a "two per page" format (the way a photocopy of a book would be) Why DjVu? Because DjVu is a file format specifically designed for scanned text: The DjVu encoder produces files that are typically much smaller than the corresponding PDFs, typically about one tenth the size, when dealing with scanned text.
To read the DjVu files, you will need a DjVu reader. Browser plugins for Windows and Mac OSX are available from Celartem. Many Linux users will already have a DjVu reader, since Okular (which is part of the KDE grapics module) supports DjVu. There is also a dedicated DjVu reader for Linux that can usually be installed via the djvulibre package. (Source code and packages are available at SourceForge, or you can install the package using your distro's package management system.) A list of other DjVu resources is maintained at djvu.org.
Several of the eBook readers available for iOS and Android also support DjVu. For iOS the most popular of these seems to be Stanza, though I do not use iOS and so have no relevant knowledge myself. For Android, the best I have found is EBookDroid, which is a truly remarkable product. Among other things, it will split "two per page" landscape pages into single pages and automatically crop to the text area (thus maximizing font size), just to start. Unfortunately, this has now become closed-source, though it is still free to use (free as in beer, but not as in speech).
NOTE: When printing these files, make sure you print them in the correct mode: ‘landscape’ or ‘portrait’. In particular, two-to-a-page scanned pages should be printed in landscape mode, so that they come out the way they were photocopied. You will get very small text and a lot of blank paper if you print them portrait.
Gottlob Frege, "On Sense and Meaning", in his Collected Papers, ed. by B. McGuiness, tr. by M. Black and P. Geach (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1984), pp. 157-77
The thing I'd really like for us to read here is Fodor's book The Language of Thought (the original, not LOT2: The Language of Thought Revisited). But that's rather too much for one week.
Hilary Putnam, "The Meaning of 'Meaning'", Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science 7 (1975), pp. 131-193
Jerry Fodor, "Methodological Solipsism as a Research Strategy in Cognitive Psychology", Behavioral and Brain Sciences 3 (1980), pp. 63-73; reprinted in (Re)Presentations (Cambridge MA: MIT Press, 1981), pp. 225-53
Tyler Burge, "Individualism and the Mental", Midwest Studies in Philosophy 4 (1979), pp. 73-121; reprinted in Foundations of Mind (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007, pp. 100-50
(DjVu of Original,
Book at Brown Digital Library,
PDF of Reprint,
DjVu of Reprint)
Brian Loar, "Social Content and Psychological Content", in R.H. Grimm and D.D. Merrill, eds, Contents of Thoughts (Tuscon: University of Arizona Press, 1988), pp. 99-110 (DjVu)
Very optional, but mentioned in class: Jessica Benjamin, "An Outline of Intersubjectivity: The Development of Recognition", Psychoanalytic Psychology, sup vol 7 (1990), pp. 33-46 (EbscoHost)
Jerry Fodor, "Cognitive Science and the Twin-Earth Problem", Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic 23 (1982), 98-118
Martin Davies, "Externality, Psychological Explanation, and Narrow Content", Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, sup. vol. 60 (1986), pp. 263-83
Tyler Burge, "Individualism and Psychology", Philosophical Review 95 (1986), pp. 3-45; reprinted in Foundations of Mind (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007, pp. 221-53 (JSTOR, DjVu of Original, Book Brown Digital Library)
Susan Schneider, "Direct Reference, Psychological Explanation, and Frege Cases", Mind and Language 20 (2005), pp. 423-47
Francois Recanati, "Mental Files and Identity", in Anne Reboul, ed., Philosophical Papers Dedicated to Kevin Mulligan (2011), URL: http://www.philosophie.ch/kevin/festschrift/. (PDF from Festschrift website, From course website)
It is tentatively planned that Prof Pryor will visit the seminar to discuss his paper. Details TBA.
|25 November||No Class: Thanksgiving Break|
We probably will not meet this day, but if we lose a day for some reason we'll need it, and it's possible we'll think of something more to do.