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John R. Searle

The Rediscovery of the Mind



Representation and Mind

Hilary Putnam and Ned Block, editors

Representation and Reality Hilary Putnam

Explaining Behavior: Reasons in a World of Causes Fred Dretske

The Metaphysics of Meaning Jerrold J. Katz

A Theory of Content and Other Essays Jerry A. Fodor

The Realistic Spirit: Wittgenstein, Philosophy, and the Mind Cora Diamond

The Unity of the Self Stephen L. White

The Imagery Debate Michael Tye

A Study of Concepts Christopher Peacocke

The Rediscovery of the Mind John R. Searle

The Rediscovery of the Mind

John R. Searle

A Bradford Book

The MIT Press Cambridge, Massachusetts London, England

© 1992 Massachusetts Institute of Technology

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form by any electronic or mechanical means (including photocopying, recording, or information storage and retrieval) without permission in writing from the publisher.

This book was set in Palatino by Chiron, Inc. and printed and bound in the United States of America.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Searle, John R.

The rediscovery of the mind / John R. Searle. p. cm. - (Representation and mind)

"A Bradford book."

Includes bibliographical references and index.

ISBN 0-262-19321-3 (hard). - ISBN 0-262-69154-X (pbk.)

1. Philosophy of mind. 2. Consciousness. 3. Intentionality (Philosophy) 4. Mind-brain identity theory-Controversial literature. I. Title. II. Series. BD418.3.S43 1992

128'.2-dc20 92-12747


For Dagmar


Contents. 4

Acknowledgments. 4

Introduction. 5

Chapter 1. What's Wrong with the Philosophy of Mind. 6

I. The Solution to the Mind-Body Problem and Why Many Prefer the Problem to the Solution. 6

II. Six Unlikely Theories of Mind. 8

III. The Foundations of Modern Materialism.. 9

IV. Historical Origins of the Foundations. 10

V. Undermining the Foundations. 12

1. Consciousness does matter. 12

2. Not all of reality is objective; some of it is subjective. 13

3. Because it is a mistake to suppose that the ontology of the mental is objective, it 13

4. It is a mistake to suppose that we know of the existence of mental phenomena in others only by observing their behavior. 13

5. Behavior or causal relations to behavior are not essential to the existence of mental phenomena. 14

6. It is inconsistent with what we in fact know about the universe and our place in it to suppose that everything is knowable by us. 14

7. The Cartesian conception of the physical, the conception of physical reality as res extensa, is... 15

Chapter 2. The Recent History of Materialism: The Same Mistake Over and Over. 15

I. The Mystery of Materialism.. 16

II. Behaviorism.. 18

III. Type Identity Theories. 19

IV. Token-Token Identity Theories. 20

V. Black Box Functionalism.. 20

VI. Strong Artificial Intelligence. 21

VII. Eliminative Materialism.. 22

VIII. Naturalizing Content 23

IX. The Moral So Far. 25

Table 2.1. The general pattern exhibited by recent materialism. 25

X. The Idols of the Tribe. 26

Appendix. 27

Is There a Problem about Folk Psychology?. 27

Chapter 3. Breaking the Hold: Silicon Brains, Conscious Robots, and Other Minds. 29

I. Silicon Brains. 29

II. Conscious Robots. 30

III. Empiricism and the "Other Minds Problem". 31

IV. Summary. 33

V. Intrinsic, As-if, and Derived Intentionality. 33

Chapter 4. Consciousness and Its Place in Nature. 35

I. Consciousness and the "Scientific" World View.. 35

II. Subjectivity. 38

III. Consciousness and the Mind-Body Problem.. 41

IV. Consciousness and Selectional Advantage. 43

Chapter 5. Reductionism and the Irreducibility of Consciousness. 44

I. Emergent Properties. 44

II. Reductionism.. 44

1. Ontological Reduction. 45

2. Property Ontological Reduction. 45

3. Theoretical Reduction. 45

4. Logical or Definitional Reduction. 45

5. Causal Reduction. 45

III. Why Consciousness Is an Irreducible Feature of Physical Reality. 46

IV. Why the Irreducibility of Consciousness Has No Deep Consequences. 47

V. Supervenience. 49

Chapter 6. The Structure of Consciousness: An Introduction. 49

I. A Dozen Structural Features. 50

1. Finite Modalities. 50

2. Unity. 50

3. Intentionality. 51

4. Subjective Feeling. 51

5. The Connection between Consciousness and Intentionality. 51

6. The Figure-Ground, Gestalt Structure of Conscious Experience. 52

7. The Aspect of Familiarity. 52

8. Overflow.. 53

9. The Center and the Periphery. 53

10. Boundary Conditions. 54

11. Mood. 54

12. The Pleasure/Unpleasure Dimension. 55

II. Three Traditional Mistakes. 55

1. Self-Consciousness. 55

2. Introspection. 56

3. Incorrigibility. 56

III. Conclusion. 57

Chapter 7. The Unconscious and Its Relation to Consciousness. 58

I. The Unconscious. 58

II. The Argument for the Connection Principle. 59

III. Two Objections to the Connection Principle. 62

IV. Could There Be Unconscious Pains?. 62

V. Freud on the Unconscious. 63

VI. Remnants of the Unconscious. 65

Chapter 8. Consciousness, Intentionality, and the Background. 65

I. Introduction to the Background. 65

II. Some Arguments for the Hypothesis of the Background. 66

III. The Network Is Part of the Background. 69

IV. Common Misunderstandings of the Background. 71

V. Further Features of the Background. 72

Chapter 9. The Critique of Cognitive Reason. 73

I. Introduction: The Shaky Foundations of Cognitive Science. 73

II. Strong AI, Weak AI, and Cognitivism.. 74

III. The Primal Story. 75

IV. The Definition of Computation. 76

V. First Difficulty: Syntax Is Not Intrinsic to Physics. 77

VI. Second Difficulty: The Homunculus Fallacy is Endemic to Cognitivism.. 78

VII. Third Difficulty: Syntax Has No Causal Powers. 79

VIII. Fourth Difficulty: The Brain Does Not Do Information Processing. 82

IX. Summary of the Argument 83

Chapter 10. The Proper Study. 83

I. Introduction: Mind and Nature. 83

II. The Inversion of Explanation. 84

Figure 10.1. Ponzo illusion. 85

III. The Logic of Functional Explanations. 87

IV. Some Consequences: Universal Grammar, Association Patterns, and Connectionism.. 88

V. Conclusion. 90

Notes. 91

Chapter 1. 91

Chapter 2. 91

Chapter 3. 92

Chapter 4. 92

Chapter 5. 92

Chapter 6. 92

Chapter 7. 93

Chapter 8. 93

Chapter 9. 93

Chapter 10. 93

Bibliography. 93

Subject Index. 96

Name Index. 102



Acknowledgments ix

Introduction xi

Chapter 1

What's Wrong with the Philosophy of Mind 1

Chapter 2

The Recent History of Materialism: The Same Mistake

Over and Over 27

Appendix: Is There a Problem about Folk Psychology? 58

Chapter 3

Breaking the Hold: Silicon Brains, Conscious Robots, and Other Minds 65

Chapter 4

Consciousness and Its Place in Nature 83

Chapter 5

Reductionism and the Irreducibility of Consciousness 111

Chapter 6

The Structure of Consciousness: An Introduction 127

Chapter 7

The Unconscious and Its Relation to Consciousness 151

Chapter 8

Consciousness, Intentionality, and the Background 175

Chapter 9

The Critique of Cognitive Reason 197

viii Contents

Chapter 10

The Proper Study 227

Notes 249

Bibliography 255

Subject Index 263

Name Index 269


I have benefited over a period of several years from discus-sions and conversations with friends, students, and colleagues about the issues considered in this book. I do not suppose I can thank all of them, but I want to offer special expressions of gratitude to the following: M. E. Aubert, John Batali, Catharine Carlin, Anthony Dardis, Hubert Dreyfus, Hana Filip, Jerry Fodor, Vinod Goel, Stevan Harnad, Jennifer Hudin, Paul Kube, Ernest Lepore, Elisabeth Lloyd, Kirk Ludwig, Thomas Nagel, Randal Parker, Joëlle Proust, Irving Rock, Charles Siewart, Melissa Vaughn, and Kayley Vernallis.

These, however, are only a few of the many who helped me so much. I have presented these ideas in lectures that I have given not only in Berkeley but as a visiting professor at the universities of Frankfurt, Venice, Florence, Berlin, and Rutgers. Among my best and severest critics have been my students, and I am grateful for their relentless skepticism. Among my institutional benefactors, I want to thank the Committee on Research of the Academic Senate and the Office of the Chan-cellor of the University of California, Berkeley, and especially the Rockefeller Foundation Center at Bellagio, Italy.

Some of the material in this book has appeared elsewhere in a preliminary form. Specifically, portions of chapters 7 and 10 were developed from my article "Consciousness, Explanatory Inversion, and Cognitive Science" (Behavioral and Brain Sci-ences, 1990), and chapter 9 is based on my Presidential Address to the American Philosophical Association for 1990.

I am especially grateful to Ned Block, who read the entire manuscript in draft form and made many helpful comments. Most of all I thank my wife, Dagmar Searle, for her constant


help and advice. As always, she has been my greatest intellec-tual influence and my strongest source of encouragement and inspiration. It is to her that this book is dedicated.


This book has several objectives, some of which do not admit of quick summary but will only emerge as the reader progresses. Its most easily statable objectives are these: I want to criticize and overcome the dominant traditions in the study of mind, both "materialist" and "dualist." Because I think con-sciousness is the central mental phenomenon, I want to begin a serious examination of consciousness on its own terms. I want to put the final nail in the coffin of the theory that the mind is a computer program. And I want to make some proposals for reforming our study of mental phenomena in a way that would justify the hope of rediscovering the mind.

Nearly two decades ago I began working on problems in the philosophy of mind. I needed an account of intentionality, both to provide a foundation for my theory of speech acts and to complete the theory. On my view, the philosophy of language is a branch of the philosophy of mind; therefore no theory of language is complete without an account of the rela-tions between mind and language and of how meaning-the derived intentionality of linguistic elements-is grounded in the more biologically basic intrinsic intentionality of the mind/brain.

When I read the standard authors and tried to explain their views to my students, I was appalled to discover that with few exceptions these authors routinely denied what I thought were simple and obvious truths about the mind. It was then, and still is, quite common to deny, implicitly or explicitly, such claims as the following: We all have inner subjective qualita-tive states of consciousness, and we have intrinsically inten-tional mental states such as beliefs and desires, intentions and


perceptions. Both consciousness and intentionality are biologi-cal processes caused by lower-level neuronal processes in the brain, and neither is reducible to something else. Furthermore, consciousness and intentionality are essentially connected in that we understand the notion of an unconscious intentional state only in terms of its accessibility to consciousness.

Then and now, all this and more was denied by the prevail-ing views. Mainstream orthodoxy consists of various versions of "materialism." Just as bad, the opponents of materialism usually embrace some doctrine of "property dualism," thus accepting the Cartesian apparatus that I had thought long discredited. What I argued for then (Searle 1984b) and repeat here is that one can accept the obvious facts of physics-that the world consists entirely of physical particles in fields of force-without denying that among the physical features of the world are biological phenomena such as inner qualitative states of consciousness and intrinsic intentionality.

About the same time as my interest in problems of the mind began, the new discipline of cognitive science was born. Cog-nitive science promised a break with the behaviorist tradition in psychology because it claimed to enter the black box of the mind and examine its inner workings. But unfortunately most mainstream cognitive scientists simply repeated the worst mis-take of the behaviorists: They insisted on studying only objec-tively observable phenomena, thus ignoring the essential features of the mind. Therefore, when they opened up the big black box, they found only a lot of little black boxes inside.

So I got little help from either mainstream philosophy of mind or cognitive science in my investigations, and I went ahead to try to develop my own account of intentionality and its relation to language (Searle 1983). However, just develop-ing a theory of intentionality left many major problems undis-cussed, and worse yet, left what seemed to me the major prevailing mistakes unanswered. This book is an attempt to fill at least some of those gaps.

One of the hardest-and most important-tasks of philoso-phy is to make clear the distinction between those features of


the world that are intrinsic, in the sense that they exist indepen-dent of any observer, and those features that are observer rela-tive, in the sense that they only exist relative to some outside observer or user. For example, that an object has a certain mass is an intrinsic feature of the object. If we all died, it would still have that mass. But that the same object is a bath-tub is not an intrinsic feature; it exists only relative to users and observers who assign the function of a bathtub to it. Hav-ing mass is intrinsic, but being a bathtub is observer relative, even though the object both has mass and is a bathtub. That is why there is a natural science that includes mass in its domain, but there is no natural science of bathtubs.

One of the themes that runs throughout this book is the attempt to get clear about which of the predicates in the philos-ophy of mind name features that are intrinsic and which observer relative. A dominant strain in the philosophy of mind and cognitive science has been to suppose that computa-tion is an intrinsic feature of the world and that consciousness and intentionality are somehow eliminable, either in favor of something else or because they are observer relative, or reduci-ble to something more basic, such as computation. In this book I argue that these suppositions are exactly backward: Consciousness and intentionality are intrinsic and inelimin-able, and computation-except for the few cases in which the computation is actually being performed by a conscious mind-is observer relative.

Here is a brief map to help the reader find his or her way about the book. The first three chapters contain criticisms of the dominant views in the philosophy of mind. They are an attempt to overcome both dualism and materialism, with more attention devoted in these chapters to materialism. At one time I thought of calling the whole book What's Wrong with the Phi-losophy of Mind, but in the end that idea emerges as the theme of the first three chapters and is the title of the first. The next five chapters, 4 to 8, are a series of attempts to give a character-ization of consciousness. Once we have gone beyond both materialism and dualism, how do we locate consciousness in


relation to the rest of the world (chapter 4)? How do we account for its apparent irreducibility according to the stan-dard patterns of scientific reduction (chapter 5)? Most impor-tant, what are the structural features of consciousness (chapter 6)? How do we account for the unconscious and its relation to consciousness (chapter 7)1 And what are the relations between consciousness, intentionality, and the Background capacities that enable us to function as conscious beings in the world (chapter 8)? In the course of these discussions I try to over-come various Cartesian shibboleths such as property dualism, introspectionism, and incorrigibility, but the main effort in these chapters is not critical. I am trying to locate conscious-ness within our general conception of the world and the rest of our mental life. Chapter 9 extends my earlier (Searle 1980 a and b) criticisms of the dominant paradigm in cognitive sci-ence, and the final chapter makes some suggestions as to how we might study the mind without making so many obvious mistakes.

In this book I have more to say about the opinions of other writers than in any of my other books-maybe more than all of them put together. This makes me extremely nervous, because it is always possible that I might be misunderstanding them as badly as they misunderstand me. Chapter 2 gave me the most headaches in this regard, and I can only say that I tried as hard as I could to make a fair summary of a whole family of views that I find uncongenial. As for references: The books I read in my philosophical childhood-books by Wittgenstein, Austin, Strawson, Ryle, Hare, etc.-contain few or no references to other authors. I think unconsciously I have come to believe that philosophical quality varies inversely with the number of bibliographical references, and that no great work of philoso-phy ever contained a lot of footnotes. (Whatever its other faults, Ryle's Concept of Mind is a model in this regard: it has none.) In the present instance, however, there is no escaping bibliographical references, and I am likely to be faulted more for what I have left out than for what I have put in.


The title is an obvious homage to Bruno Snell's classic, The Discovery of the Mind. May we in rediscovering conscious-

ness-the real thing, not the Cartesian ersatz nor the behavior-

ist doppelgänger-also rediscover the mind.

Chapter 1. What's Wrong with the Philosophy of Mind

I. The Solution to the Mind-Body Problem and Why Many Prefer the Problem to the Solution

The famous mind-body problem, the source of so much con-troversy over the past two millennia, has a simple solution. This solution has been available to any educated person since serious work began on the brain nearly a century ago, and, in a sense, we all know it to be true. Here it is: Mental phenomena are caused by neurophysiological processes in the brain and are themselves features of the brain. To distinguish this view from the many others in the field, I call it "biological natural-ism." Mental events and processes are as much part of our biological natural history as digestion, mitosis, meiosis, or enzyme secretion.

Biological naturalism raises a thousand questions of its own. What exactly is the character of the neurophysiological processes and how exactly do the elements of the neuro-anatomy - neurons, synapses, synaptic clefts, receptors, mito-chondria, glial cells, transmitter fluids, etc. - produce mental phenomena? And what about the great variety of our mental life-pains, desires, tickles, thoughts, visual experiences, beliefs, tastes, smells, anxiety, fear, love, hate, depression, and elation? How does neurophysiology account for the range of our mental phenomena, both conscious and unconscious? Such questions form the subject matter of the neurosciences, and as I write this, there are literally thousands of people investigating these questions.1 But not all the questions are neurobiological. Some are philosophical or psychological or part of cognitive science generally. Some of the philosophical


248 Chapter 10

corresponds to the facts, because "corresponds to the facts" does mean corresponds to the facts, and any discipline that aims to describe how the world is aims for this correspon-dence. If you keep asking yourself this question in the light of the knowledge that the brain is the only thing in there, and the brain causes consciousness, I believe you will come up with the results I have reached in this chapter, and indeed many of the results I have come up with in this book.

But that is only to take a first step on the road back to the mind. A fourth and final guideline is that we need to redis-cover the social character of the mind.


Chapter 1

1. Or at least they are investigating the preliminaries of such questions. It is surprising how little of contemporary neuroscience is devoted to investigat-ing, e.g., the neurophysiology of consciousness.

2. The best-known proponent of this view is Thomas Nagel (1986), but see also Colin McGinn (1991).

3. See, for example, P. S. Churchland 1987.

4. I will confine my discussion to analytic philosophers, but apparently the same sort of implausibility affects so-called Continental philosophy. Accord-ing to Dreyfus (1991), Heidegger and his followers also doubt the importance of consciousness and intentionality.

5. The best-known exponent of this view is Daniel Dennett (1987).

6. But for an explicit statement, see Georges Rey (1983).

7. In different ways, I believe this is done by Armstrong (1968, 1980), and Den-nett (1991).

8. Another form of incredibility, but from a different philosophical motivation, is the claim that each of us has at birth all of the concepts expressible in any words of any possible human language, so that, for example, Cro-Magnon people had the concepts expressed by the word "carburetor" or by the expres-sion "cathode ray oscillograph." This view is held most famously by Fodor (1975).

9. Howard Gardner, in his comprehensive summary of cognitive science (1985), does not include a single chapter-indeed not a single index entry-on consciousness. Clearly the mind's new science can do without consciousness.

10. On my view, an inner process such as feeling a pain, for example, does not"stand in need" of anything. Why should it?

11. Oddly enough, my views have been confidently characterized by some commentators as "materialist," by some others, with equal confidence, as "dualist." Thus, for example, U. T. Place writes, Searle "presents the material-ist position" (1988, p. 208), while Stephen P. Stich writes, "Searle is a property dualist" (1987, p. 133).

12. A closely related point is made by Noam Chomsky (1975).

250 Notes to pages 29-39

Chapter 2

1. A good example is Richard Rorty (1979), who asks us to imagine a tribe that does not say "I am in pain," but rather "My C-fibers are being stimulated." Well, let us imagine such a case. Imagine a tribe that refuses to use our men-talistic vocabulary. What follows? Either they have pains as we do or they do not. If they do, then the fact that they refuse to call them pains is of no interest. The facts remain the same regardless of how we or they choose to describe them. If, on the other hand, they really do not have any pains, then they are quite different from us and their situation is of no relevance to the reality of our mental phenomena.

2. It is an interesting fact that in three recent books all of which contain the word "consciousness" in their titles-Paul Churchland's Matter and Conscious-ness (1984), Ray Jackendoff's Consciousness and the Computational Mind (1987), and William Lycan's Consciousness (1987)-there is little or no effort to give any account of or theory of consciousness. Consciousness is not a subject that is treated as a worthy topic in its own right, but rather simply as an annoying problem for the materialist philosophy of mind.

3. In his review of Marvin Minsky's book Society of Mind, Bernard Williams (1987) writes: "What is at issue in this [A.I.] research, in part, is precisely whether intelligent systems can be compounded of unintelligent matter."

4. I do not know the origin of this phrase, but it is probably derived from Ogden and Richards's characterization of Watson as "affecting general anaesthesia" (1926, p. 23 of 1949 edition).

5. I mention this talk of "C-fibers" with some embarrassment because the entire discussion is misinformed. Regardless of the merits or demerits of materialism, it is out of the question for purely neurophysiological reasons that C-fibers should be the locus of pain sensations. C-fibers are a type of axon that transmits certain sorts of pain signals from peripheral nerve endings to the central nervous system. Other pain signals are transmitted by A-Delta fibers. The C-fibers function as pathways for taking the stimuli to the brain, where the real action takes place. As far as we know, the neurophysiological events responsible for sensations of pain occur in the thalamus, the limbic sys-tem, the somato-sensory cortex, and possibly other regions as well. (See any standard textbook on this question.)

6. In this chapter I am not concerned to defend my solution to the mind-body problem, but it is worth pointing out that it is not subject to this objection. Kripke and his opponents both accept the dualistic vocabulary with its opposi-tion between "mental " and "physical," which I reject. Once you reject that opposition, then, on my view, my present state of pain is a higher-level feature of my brain. It is therefore necessarily identical with a certain feature of my brain, namely itself. Equally necessary, it is not identical with any other features of my brain, though it is caused by certain lower-level events in my brain. It is possible that such features might be caused by other sorts of events and might be features of other sorts of systems. So there is no necessary con-

Notes to pages 40-90 251

nection between pains and brains. Everything is what it is and not another thing.

7. For example, McGinn (1977). McGinn defends Davidson s argument for "anomalous monism," which both he and Davidson take to be a version of token identity theory.

8. After the British philosopher F. P. Ramsey, (1903-1930).

9. The terminology of "chauvinism" and "liberalism" was introduced by Ned Block (1978).

10. The argument is found in the work of several philosophers, for example, Steven Schiffer (1987) and Paul Churchland. Churchland gives a succinct state-ment of the premise: "If we do give up hope of a reduction, then elimination emerges as the only coherent alternative" (1988).

11. I will have more to say about these issues in chapter 7.

Chapter 3

1. In the style of Thomas Nagel's article, "What Is It Like to Be a Bat?" (1974).

2. For example, "As one might expect, cells whose receptive fields are specifically color-coded have been noted in various animals, including the monkey, the ground squirrel, and some fishes. These animals, in contradistinc-tion to the cat, possess excellent color vision and an intricate neural mechanism for processing color" (Kuffler and Nicholls 1976, p. 25, my italics).

3. For an example of this misunderstanding, see P. M. and P. S. Churchland 1983.

4. I am indebted to Dan Rudermann for calling my attention to this article. 5. See, for example, Dennett 1987.

Chapter 4

1. There is one qualification to this point. The sense of body location does have intentionality, because it refers to a portion of the body. This aspect of pains is intentional, because it has conditions of satisfaction. In the case of a phantom limb, for example, one can be mistaken, and the possibility of a mis-take is at least a good clue that the phenomenon is intentional.

2. The metaphor of "left-right" derives, of course, from the arbitrary conven-tion of European languages of writing from left to right.

3. The term "functional" is somewhat misleading because the functional level is also causal, but it is common in biology to speak of the two types of causal explanation as "functional" and "causal." However we describe it, the distinc-tion is important and I make further use of it in chapter 10.

4. Sometimes people resist my views because of a mistaken conception of the relations between causation and identity. U. T. Place (1988), for example, writes: "According to Searle mental states are both identical with and causally dependent on the corresponding states of the brain. I say you can't have your

252 Notes to pages 95-155

cake and eat it. Either mental states are identical with brain states or one is causally dependent on the other. They can't be both" (p. 209).

Place is thinking of cases such as "These footprints can be causally depen-dent on the shoes of the burglar, but they can't also be identical with those shoes." But how about: "The liquid state of this water can be causally depen-dent on the behavior of the molecules, and can also be a feature of the system made up of the molecules"? It seems to me just obvious that my present state of consciousness is caused by neuronal behavior in my brain and that very state just is a higher level feature of the brain. If that amounts to having your cake and eating it too, let's eat.

5. This is not an argument for "privileged access" because there is no privilege and no access. I will have more to say about this topic later in this chapter.

6. "Logically, "consciousness" is a stuff term, as "matter" is; and I see nothing wrong, metaphysically, with recognizing that consciousness is a kind of stuff (p. 60)."

7. The alternative explanation is that we have other more general biological urges that are satisfied by these various activities. Compare Elliot Sober's dis-tinction between what is selected and what is selected for (1984, ch. 4).

Chapter 5

1. For further discussion of this point, see chapter 2.

Chapter 6

1. Even such obvious points as that when one is bored, "time passes more slowly" seem to me to require explanation. Why should time pass more slowly when one is bored?

2. This expression is due to Edelman (1991).

3. Hume, by the way, thought that there couldn't be any such feeling, because if there were, it would have to do a lot of epistemic and metaphysical work that no mere feeling could do. I think in fact we all have a characteristic sense of our own personhood, but it is of little epistemic or metaphysical interest. It does not guarantee "personal identity," "the unity of the self," or any such thing. It is just how, for example, it feels like to me to be me.

4. E.g., by David Woodruff Smith (1986).

Chapter 7

1. Lashley 1956. I don't think Lashley means this literally. I think he means that the processes by which the various features of conscious states are pro-duced are never conscious. But even that is an overstatement, and the fact that he resorts to this sort of hyperbole is revealing of the theme I am trying to identify.

Notes to pages 158-213 253

2. See also Searle 1980b, 1984b, and especially 1984a.

3. For these purposes I am contrasting "neurophysiological" and "mental," but of course on the view of mind-body relations that I have been expounding throughout this book, the mental is neurophysiological at a higher level. I con-trast mental and neurophysiological as one might contrast humans and animals without thereby implying that the first class is not included in the second. There is no dualism implicit in my use of this contrast.

4. Specifically David Armstrong, Alison Gopnik, and Pat Hayes.

5. For this discussion I am ignoring Freud's distinction between preconscious and unconscious. For present purposes I call both "unconscious."

Chapter 8

1. Especially On Certainty (1969), which I believe is one of the best books on the subject.

2. In discussion.

3. The correct answer to this style of skepticism, I believe, is to explain the role of the Background in meaning and understanding (Searle, unpublished).

4. This is a change from the view I held in Searle 1991. I was convinced of this point by William Hirstein.

Chapter 9

1. SOAR is a system developed by Alan Newell and his colleagues at Carnegie Mellon University. The name is an acronym for "State, Operator, And Result." For an account see Waldrop 1988.

2. This view is announced and defended in a large number of books and arti-cles many of which appear to have more or less the same title, e.g., Computers and Thought (Feigenbaum and Feldman, eds., 1963), Computers and Thought (Sharpies et al. 1988), The Computer and the Mind (Johnson-Laird 1988), Compu-tation and Cognition (Pylyshyn 1984), "The Computer Model of the Mind" (Block 1990), and of course, "Computing Machinery and Intelligence" (Turing 1950).

3. This whole research program has been neatly summarized by Gabriel Segal (1991) as follows: "Cognitive science views cognitive processes as computa-tions in the brain. And computation consists in the manipulation of pieces of syntax. The content of the syntactic objects, if any, is irrelevant to the way they get processed. So, it seems, content can figure in cognitive explanations only insofar as differences in content are reflected in differences in the brain's syntax" (p. 463).

4. Pylyshyn comes very close to conceding precisely this point when he writes, "The answer to the question what computation is being performed requires discussion of semantically interpreted computational states" (1984, p. 58) Indeed. And who is doing the interpreting?

254 Notes to pages 218-238

5. People sometimes say that it would have to add six to itself eight times. But that is bad arithmetic. Six added to itself eight times is fifty-four, because six added to itself zero times is still six. It is amazing how often this mistake is made.

6. The example was suggested by John Batali.

Chapter 10

1. The brain has, of course, many other features as well that have nothing to do with consciousness. For example, the medulla regulates breathing even when the system is totally unconscious.

2. Lisberger 1988, Lisberger and Pavelko 1988.

3. See Searle 1983, especially chapter 5, for an extended discussion.


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Subject Index


and mental abilities, 202

and semantics, 203


brain processes, 232

plant behavior, 229

antireductionist arguments Jackson, F., Kripke, S., Nagel,T., 116-118

appearance-reality distinction, 121-122

artificial intelligence, 44

as-if intentionality and rules, 245-246

aspect of familiarity, 133-136

aspectual shape, 155,159,164

and perception, 157

undetermined by third-person characterization, 158

associationist psychology, 239

atomic theory of matter, 86

attention, center/periphery of, 137-139


Background, 22, 58, 77, 175-196

argument for, 178

capacities, 137

capacities, as manifested by inten-tional behavior, 185

"deep" vs. "local practices," 194

as feature of representations, 190-192

and habitus, 177

hypothesis restated, 189

and interpretation, 192

laws of operation, 195

and literal meaning, 179, 180-181, 183-184

and model of explicitness, 193

and Network, distinction between, 176, 187,186-191

presupposition and collective intentionality, 128

as requirement for interpretation of intentional states, 189-190

and taxonomy of components, 184

behavior, intelligent, 56, 235-236

in terms of linguistic competence, 243

importance of, 69

behaviorism, 33-35

logical, 33-35

methodological, 33-35

belief, unconscious, 188

biological naturalism, 1

bodily sensations, 128


as digital computer, 197-226

pre-Darwinian conception of, 229

as universal Turing machine, 202

brain processes

as computational operations over innate syntax, 201


Cartesianism, 13

causal explanations

and causal necessity, 100-104

264 Subject Index

causal explanations (continued)

of cognition, 217, 220

and computational simulation, 218

causal relationships, 68

causal phenomena and rule follow-ing, 238

causation, 18

micro-macro forms, 125

Chinese room argument, 45, 200, 210

Church's thesis, 200

Church-Turing thesis, 202

Clerk-Maxwell, 102

cognition, causal explanations of, 215-216

cognitive science, 44, 197-226

assumptions of mainstream, 197

cognitivism, 202, 246

compositionality, principle of, 179-180


definition of, 205

as observer-relative characteriza-tion, 211, 212

computational descriptions

irrelevant to hardware, 206

and multiple realizability, 207, 209

and universal realizability, 207, 209

computational interpretations, 219

of the brain, 225

and intentionality of homunculus, 219

computational simulation

and brain processes, 218

and causal explanations, 218, 219

computers and syntactical character-ization, 210

conditions of satisfaction, 175

as normative phenomena, 238

connection principle, 155-162

and cause-and-effect relations, 234

and implications, 227-248

as inconsistent with deep uncon-scious rules, 242

objections to, 162-164

violation of, 246-247

connectionism, defense of, 246-247

consciousness, 14, 84-109

and behavior, the principle of the independence of, 69

boundary of, 139

as a causally emergent property, 112

categorization of, 136

conscious states and intentionality, 84

definition, 90

development of a theory of, 247

irreducibility of, 116

and perception, analogy between, 170-172

structure of conscious experience, 127-149

constitutive principles, 62-63


digital computers and simulation of brain operations, 200-218

disjunction problem, 50

dispositions, 33-34

dispositional capacity of neurophy-siology, 188

dualism, 54,204

Cartesian, 13

conceptual, 26

property, 118

eliminative materialist, 6

eliminativism, 247

emergent properties, 111-112

Emmert's law, 232

empirical, ambiguity of sense, 72

epiphenomenalism, 125

epistemology, 18

evolutionary biology, 88

explanatory inversion, 228-237

consequences for cognitive science, 234-237

Subject Index 265


brute, 238-239

contingent, 72

empirical, 72

mathematic or logic, 72

neurophysiological, 158

folk psychology, 5, 6, 46, 58

formal symbol manipulation, 199

functional explanations

of brain processes, 234

as a causal level with respect to observer's interest, 237

logic of, 237

functionalism, 7,41-43,49,153,247

black box, 40-43,49

computer, 7, 40-43

functions and causal relations, 238


gedankenexperiment, 65-68

Gestalt psychology, 132

and figure ground, 133

and perception, 133

Guillain-Barré syndrome, 68

habitus, Bourdieu's notion of, 177

homunculus fallacy, 212-214, 226


identity theorists, Australian, 37

identity theory, 35

token-token, 40

type-type, 48

incorrigibility and inattention, 148

and misinterpretation, 148

and Network and Background, 148

incredibility, 144-149

indeterminacy of translation, 163

information processing, 223-225

intelligence, 56

relation to computation, 202

intentional content, attempts to naturalize, 49

intentional level of description, 238

intentional stance, 7

intentional states with wide content, 80

intentionality, 49, 51, 78,130

as-if, 78-82

and aspectual shape, 131

and the function of the non-representational, 189

intrinsic, 78-82

intrinsic vs. as-if, 156

interpretation, and understanding, 192

intrinsic, 80

intrinsic features, 210-211

introspection, 97,143-144

doctrine of, 149

intuition, Cartesian, 5


knowledge, practical and theoretical, 194

Korsakov's syndrome, 130 Kripke's modal argument, 3


language acquisition device, (LAD), 242, 244

language of thought, 198, 201, 247

latency and manifestation, 172

Leibniz's law, 38

levels of description of behavior

functional, 229, 230, 234

hardware, 229, 230, 235

intentional, 229, 230, 238

levels of description of the brain mental, 233

linguistic competence, causal expla-nations of, 243


materialism, 27-57

materialism, eliminative, 45-48

memory, iconic, 130

mental states, 6

dispositional account of, 160-161

distinction between representa-tional and nonrepresentational, 189

266 Subject Index

mental states (continued)

ontology of, 16, 154

mental processes as computations, 201

unconscious and conscious, 239

mentalism, naive, 54


as a biological system, 227-228

mind-body problem, 100

other minds problem, 77

mood, 140



as part of the Background, 186

and causal capacity, 188

and conscious intentionality, 188

nonconscious vs. unconscious, 154-155

normative importance of functions, 238

normative phenomena, 238


observer-relative, notion of, 211

observation, 99

ontology, 18

overflow, 137


pain and C-fiber firings, 250n5

pain, unconscious, 164

patterns, 219

causal function of, 240

and counterfactuals, 222


and inference, 232

as intelligent behavior, 231

pleasure/unpleasure, 141

privileged access, 98


as associative patterns, 240

with and without mental content, 239

nonconscious, 240

notions of, 239

and principle of relating mental contents, 240

qualia, 42


Ramsey sentence, 41, 42

recursive decomposition, 213

reducibility, 61

reductionism, 124

causal, 114

logical or definitional, 114

ontological, 113

property ontological, 113

theoretical, 113


externalist causal theories of, 49

naturalistic accounts of, 50


deep unconscious mental, 241

and nonrepresentational capacities, 175


relation to Background, 193

as constitutive of states, 244

deep unconscious, 241, 242

and intentional content, 241

as principle or constraint, 243

requirement of causal efficacy, 242, 243

universal grammar, 242


self-consciousness, 141

doctrine of, 149


non-intrinsic to syntax, 210

and proof theory, 203

sensory modalities, 128

and intentionality, 129

SOAR, 198,153n

spectrum inversion, 42, 76

stream of consciousness, 127

stream of thought, 128

Strong AI, 201

Subject Index 267

strong artificial intelligence, 7, 8, 42-45

subjectivity, 93-97

ontology of, 99-100

superactor/superspartan objection, 35

supervenience, 124-126

causal and constitutive notions, 125

syntax, 210

lack of causal power, 215

as nonphysical feature, 209

as observer-relative notion, 209

and its relation to problem of semantics, 201

problem of, 201

system features, 112


teleology, 51

temporality, 127

theoretical entities, 61

Turing test, 44,57

Turing machine, 205

universal machine, 202

Turing's human computer, 216



and Freud, 167

features of, 169

unconscious intentionality vs. nonin-tentional capacities, 189

unconscious rules, 235

unconscious states, 151-173

and accessibility to consciousness, 152

aspectual shape, 156-159

deep and shallow, 162

and generation of consciousness, 188

intentional and intrinsic, 156

ontology of, 159,160

unified sequence, 129

unity of conscious states

binding problem, 130

horizontal and vertical dimen-sions, 130

transcendental unity of appercep-tion, 130

universal grammar

Chomsky's rules of, 197

linguistic and visual, 245


vestibular ocular reflex, (VOR), 236-237

vision, 212

vision, Marr's rules of, 197


Weak AI, 202

Name Index

Austin, J., 17

Armstrong, D. M., 100, 249n7, 253n4

Batali, J., 209, 254n6

Bellarmine, 5

Berkeley, 120

Block, N., 38, 42, 43,84,162,206,207, 213,251n9

Bloom, F. E., 199

Boolos, G. S., 199

Bourdieu, P., 177,193


Carston, R., 181

Changeux, J. P., 100

Chisholm, R., 34

Chomsky, N., 220, 221,249nl2,232, 243

Churchland, P. M., 6, 45, 58, 60, 62, 250n2

Churchland, P. S., 48, 249n3

Churchland, P. M., and P. S., 251n3

Darwin, 51

Davidson, D., 251n7

Davis, S., 181

Dennett, D. C, 44, 55,149,212, 249n5, 249n7, 251n5

Descartes, 15, 44, 55

Dreyfus, H., 44,138,204, 249n4

Edelmann, G. M., 252n2

Feigenbaum, E. A., 253n2

Feldman, J., 253n2

Feyerband, P., 6, 45

Fodor, J.,38, 42,50,51,58,198,201, 249n8

Foucault, M., 193

Freud, S., 151, 152

Galileo, 5, 85

Gardiner, H., 249n9

Gazzaniga, M. S.,130

Geach, P., 34 Goel, V., 209

Gopnik, A., 253n4

Grice, P., 41

Griffin, D. R., 89

Hampshire, S., 34

Hare, R. M., 125

Haugeland, J., 124, 213

Hayes, P., 253n4

Heidegger, M., 138

Hempel, C, 33

Hirstein, W., 253n4

Hobbs,J.R., 198

Hogg, D., 253n2

Horgan, T., 58

Hume, D., 252n3

Hutchinson, C, 253n2

Jackendoff, R., 250n2

Jackson, F., 116-118

James, W., 135,139


Jeffrey, R. C, 199

Johnson-Laird, P. N., 44, 206, 253n2

Kant, E., 17, 127

Kim, J., 125

Kripke, S., 38, 39, 116-118,184, 250n6

Kuffler, S. W., 251n2

Lashley, K., 151, 252n1

Lazerson, A., 199

Lettvin,J. Y.,217

Lewis, D., 35.41

Lisberger, S. G., 254n2

Lycan, W. G., 39, 55, 250n2

Marr, D., 212, 220, 221

Maturana, H. R., 217


McGinn, C, 249n2, 251n7

Minsky, M., 250n3

Moore, G. E., 125

Nagel, T., 100, 116-118, 249n2, 251nl

Newell, A., 215, 220, 253nl

Nicholls, J. G., 251n2

Nietzsche, F., 177

Ogden, C. K., 35, 250n4

Otterson, M. F., 81

Pavelko, T. A., 254n2

Penfield, W., 107

Penrose, R., 204

Pitts, W. H., 217

Place, U. T., 35, 249nll, 251n4

Postman, L., 136

Putnam, H., 35, 38, 49

Pylyshyn, Z. W., 199, 206, 253n2, 253n4

Quine, W. V. O., 8,164

Ramsey, F. P., 251n8

Récanati, F., 181, 182, 184

Rey, G., 249n6

Richards, I. A., 35, 250n4

Rock, I., 231

Rorty, R., 6, 45, 145, 250nl

Rudermann, D., 251n4

Ryle, G., 33

Sarna, S. K., 81

Searle, J. R., 8, 45, 65, 80, 122, 175, 178,194,200,249n11, 251n4, 252n2,253n3,253n4,254n3

Segal, G., 253n3

Shaffer, J., 36. 38

Sharpies, M., 253n2

Shepherd, G. M., 199

Sher, G., 39

Shiffer, S., 251n10


Smith, B., 209

Smith, W. S., 252n4

Sober, E., 252n7

Stevenson, J. T., 36

Stich, S. P., 58

Torrence, S., 253n2 Turing, A., 202, 205, 253n2

Waldrop, M. M., 253nl

Walk, R., 136

Watson, J. B., 33

Weiskrantz et al., 186

Wieskrantz, 163

Williams, B., 250n3

Wittgenstein, L., 11, 90, 105, 126, 184, 177 Woodward, J., 5

Young, D., 253n2

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update 27.04.05