Mental Representation Archives

More Generally: Philosophy (465) » Metaphysics (155) » Philosophy of Mind (43)

March 30, 2016

"Arnauld's Verbal Distinction" in History and Philosophy of Logic

I've just heard that "Arnauld's Verbal Distinction between Ideas and Perceptions" will appear in History and Philosophy of Logic. It is unfortunate that Arnauld doesn't get more attention; I'm trying to do something about that!
Continue reading ""Arnauld's Verbal Distinction" in History and Philosophy of Logic"

December 19, 2015

REP Article on Port-Royal

My article on Port-Royal for the Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy is now available here. (Unfortunately, a subscription is required to see the complete article; only the opening summary is freely available.) The article focuses primarily on the theory of mind and language in the Port-Royal Grammar (1660) and Logic (1662).
Continue reading "REP Article on Port-Royal"

June 15, 2015

Understanding Sentences: Port-Royal, Locke, and Berkeley

According to the Port-Royal Logic, "words are distinct and articulated sounds that people have made into signs to indicate what takes place in the mind" (Buroker 74). Similarly, according to Locke, the use of language requires that one ``be able to use [articulate] Sounds, as Signs of internal Conceptions; and to make them stand as marks for the Ideas within his own Mind, whereby they might be made known to others, and the Thoughts of Men's Minds be conveyed from one to another" (EHU 3.1.2). Passages like these support Berkeley's interpretation of his predecessors as holding that, in the proper...
Continue reading "Understanding Sentences: Port-Royal, Locke, and Berkeley"

September 1, 2014

January 9, 2014

Conee on the Ontological Argument

According to Leibniz, any answer to the question 'why is there something rather than nothing?' must bottom out in "a necessary being, which carries the reason for its existence within itself, otherwise we still would not have a sufficient reason at which we can stop" (Principles of Nature and Grace, sect. 8, tr. Woolhouse and Francks). The coherence of such a being has, however, been questioned. What would it be for a being to 'carry the reason for its existence within itself?' What kind of impossibility could there be in the supposition that some particular being does not exist? Earl...
Continue reading "Conee on the Ontological Argument"

July 3, 2012

The Port-Royalists on Judgment and Other Mental Operations

Locke famously defines judgment, knowledge, etc., in terms of the joining or separating of ideas. It is quite probable that Locke's source for this is the Port-Royal Logic. There are two well-known problems with this view. First, according to this view in order to think that Peter is not living I must mentally separate the idea of Peter from the idea of living, but if I do that then its not clear how this judgment, that Peter is not living, can be a unit which can be, for instance, embedded in complex sentences. Locke makes matters worse by talking about...
Continue reading "The Port-Royalists on Judgment and Other Mental Operations"

Return to