Our second RIP lecture is on Tuesday:
Royal Institute of Philosophy
Tuesday 21 October
Chancellor’s Building, Room CBA 0.060
Dr James Tartaglia
University of Keele
THE MARK OF THE MENTAL
The aim of the lecture is to provide an account of the distinction between the mental and the physical, an account which is distinct from, and in a certain sense better than, the two standard accounts. (The abstract is pasted below as well as on the Philosophy@Keele blog: https://philosophyk.wordpress.com/) This is directly relevant to second years taking Philosophy of Mind, as well as to third years planning to take James’s module on Rorty. Hence they should be there physically as well as mentally (distinction to be clarified), as of course should members of staff.
Wine will be served, as usual.
Intentionality and phenomenal consciousness are the main candidates to provide a ‘mark of the mental’. Rorty, who thinks the category ‘mental’ lacks any underlying unity, suggests a challenge to these positions: to explain how intentionality or phenomenal consciousness alone could generate a mental-physical contrast. I argue that a failure to meet Rorty’s challenge would present a serious indictment of the concept of mind, even though Rorty’s own position is untenable. I then argue that both intentionalism and proposals such as Searle’s ‘Connection Principle’ fail to satisfy this explanatory burden. I conclude with the suggestion that only introspectibility may be able to unite intentional and phenomenal states whilst meeting Rorty’s challenge.