Went through more of ‘Personal Knowledge’ this morning. Got to a brilliant part where Polyani gets into the personal aspect of analytic logic – his example, ‘p is true’, upon his closer inspection, to be just as personal a truth as anything. I found that to be absolutely fascinating.
Been going through a bit of Hume and Reid – Hume is an interesting critical philosopher, but the ideas he offers up aren’t so strong. Dead on about causality not being an empirical thing, though. That particular insight seems like it should have more impact on philosophy of mind than it does. Perhaps it does and I’m just not aware of it. Reid, of course, is the man, who basically criticizes Locke through Hume (specifically, the way of ideas) and by extension, Berkeley.
Continuing to read Feser’s ‘Philosophy of Mind’, specifically the sections on Russellian theory of mind and hylemorphic dualism and Thomistic dualism, which are interesting and solid theories of mind/matter. Russell’s criticisms of the idea that physics can provide a complete picture of reality are quite powerful. Interestingly, Russell thought that the amount of space and attention that we give to the mind in elevating it to be the thing does more harm than good.
I snagged the Blackwell companions to Philosophy of Science, Philosophy of Religion and Metaphysics for total of 29 bucks, which is pretty cool. I’m a big believer in having good encyclopedia/dictionaries on hand, because they get you the basics – if you learn your basics, you can apply them to the more complex things much more easily. Just like learning to fire your rifle – no fancy tricks needed. Learn your fundamentals and basics, apply em’, and you can’t lose, whether on the range on at your desk.