Dispositional Properties

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SIU Press, Aug 14, 2008 - Philosophy - 226 pages
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In Dispositional Properties, David Weissman attacks a problem central to the philosophy of mind and, by implication, to the theory of being: Are there potentialities, capabilities, which dispose the mind to think in one way rather than another?

The volume is arranged in the form of four arguments that converge upon a single point. First, there is an intricate discussion of the shortcomings of Hume's account of mind as ideas and impressions. Next comes a brief treatment of the arguments of some of Weissman's contemporaries, including Carnap and Braithwaite. Third, Weissman discusses Wittgenstein's theories of learning and knowledge. Finally, there is a full discussion of Aristotle and his doctrine of potentialities.

The question this book ultimately raises is how to steer between a doctrine of mind as no more than a series of acts, on the one hand, and a doctrine of mind as a kind of unitary object, on the other. The solution is to show first of all that there must be a potentiality in the universe, and then to show clearly and in detail that the mind is shot through with that potentiality.

 

 

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Contents

Introduction
3
His Realist Sympathies and Reductionist Convictions
17
2 Counterfactual Conditionals
83
3 The Existence of Nonintrospectable Mental States
119
4 Real Potentiality
159
Epilogue
194
Notes
201
Index
211
Author Bio
217
Back Cover
218
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About the author (2008)

David Weissman is a professor of philosophy at the City College of New York. He is the author of several books, including Styles of Thought, The Cage, Lost Souls, and A Social Ontology.

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