Talk "Psychologism and Behaviourism Revisited"

Given by Tim Crane (Central European University, Budapest) and organized by the Vienna Colloquium Analytic Philosophy.

Thursday, the 22nd of March 2018
from 4:00pm to 6:00pm
room tba


Abstract: Gottlob Frege famously argued that we should always ‚always separate sharply the psychological from the logical, the subjective from the objective’. I argue that while analytic philosophers have generally followed this advice when discussing logic and mathematics (in their rejection of ‘psychologism’ about these things), they have not followed it when discussing the psychological itself. It might be thought that if psychologism was true of anything, it is true of the psychological. But 20th and 21st century analytic philosophy of mind has thought otherwise, approaching the study of the mind using ideas from semantics and the theory of meaning (e.g. the proposition, truth, reference etc.). In this lecture I will claim that their rejection of psychologism is one of the things that has made it difficult for philosophy of mind to gain a proper understanding of consciousness, and that despite the widespread rejection of behaviourism in philosophy and psychology, contemporary philosophy of mind still works with a conception of consciousness that derives from mid-20th century behaviourism.


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