The Subjective View: Secondary Qualities and Indexical Thoughts

The Subjective View: Secondary Qualities and Indexical Thoughts

The Subjective View: Secondary Qualities and Indexical Thoughts

The Subjective View: Secondary Qualities and Indexical Thoughts

Synopsis

This book investigates the subjective and objective representations of the world, developing analogies between secondary qualities and indexical thoughts and arguing that subjective representations are ineliminable. Throughout, McGinn brings together historical and contemporary discussions to illuminate old problems in a novel way.

Excerpt

This monograph is occupied with the relationship between the world as it is independently of the mind and the world as it is presented to the mind. I put forward the thesis that it is a necessary truth that the world is not presented to us just as it is in itself. This thesis raises two questions: how, if the thesis is correct, do we come by an objective conception of the world? and why is it that the world must be presented to us in a subjective way? These questions, and allied matters, are approached by considering the perception of secondary qualities and the having of indexical thoughts.

I did not initially intend that this work would finish up in book form, but I found that I had too much material to fit into a single article and the material was too interconnected to be made into several articles. The style of the book is thus like that of an extended article: unselfcontained, exploratory, inconclusive. I hope, at least, that my readers will be convinced of the genuineness and difficulty of the questions I raise, and that they may be stimulated to make progress on the issues where my own efforts have met with less than total success.

I have discussed the ideas of the book with many people and have been helped in seeing the issues more clearly. In view of the slightness of the result, it would be faintly absurd to mention all these people, but I must acknowledge in particular Anita Avramides, Malcolm Budd, lan McFetridge, Jim Hopkins and Arnold Zuboff. Katherine Backhouse was kind enough to do the typing, and University College gave me a sabbatical term (Autumn 1981) during which the book was written.

Colin McGinn 2 July 1982 . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.