Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Widening the Trail

Well, to follow up on the last post, I liked Strawson’s new paper a lot, but will take note that his “journey” took us to some places which seem pretty familiar.

His realism about experience led to a rejection of materialist monism, and thinking about how both experiential and non-experiential being can co-exist in any naturalistic way led him to consider panexperientialism (see Chalmers, 1996). He discussed the notion of inside and outside perspectives as a way to explain why reality may seem to have dual modes (Nagel 1974). He outlined the idea that the experiential could seen as the categorical basis of reality, while the non-experiential is the dispositional/relational dimension of reality investigated by physics (Russell 1927). At this point, trying to make further sense of these ideas took him outside the arena of philosophy of mind, strictly speaking, to a discussion about how the panexperientialist view relates to the topics of causality and the composition of individuals (see Rosenberg 2004, and, of course, Whitehead 1928).

I don’t mean this comment to be too critical: I think all this is a good thing. Strawson’s work, presented in his unique style, helps widen the trail and thus bolsters the case for these ideas.

[Updated 16 March 2009 for broken links]


Anonymous said...

Well, sure, there is nothing new there really, but it is *his* journey, not a journey "where no man has gone before".

Steve said...

You're right of course, anon.