THE MIND'S ANCHORAGE IN ABSTRACT OBJECTS (Zakorzenienie umyslu w obiektach abstrakcyjnych)
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Some features of human linguistic competence make one to reconsider the Fregean notion of modes of presentation, which were supposed to correspond to senses of words. Especially two linguistic phenomena invite such a reflection: (1) generalized reports about people's beliefs, like 'Everybody thinks that p'; (2) semantic relations (like synonymy) between empty names (proper or general). In the analysis of belief reports I am referring to studies by Edward Zalta; in the analysis of empty names I am drawing on Jerrold Katz and Georges Rey's accounts. The three entirely independent inquiries seem to support the claim, that Fregean senses (understood as the modes of presentation) presuppose the existence of abstract individuals and properties, which are intuitively apprehended by the speakers. It leads to certain conclusion about the nature of the human mind. In this article I am arguing that to the extent determined by the analyzed phenomena, human mind is in part an abstract entity - it incorporates - as its parts - the abstract entities though which it is referring to itself. This reference to oneself takes place in virtue of possessing ones own thoughts. Possessing thoughts is quite different from having experiences or more generally, psychological states. It requires that a subject is related to certain abstract objects. Although I do not believe that this claim amounts to some sort of spiritualism, I do believe that it imposes rather serious constraint on naturalistic accounts of the mind. This view is committed to rather strong form of emergentism or even to some kind of interactive dualism about the mind.
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