Meaning, Mind, and Knowledge

OUP Oxford
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In this collection of essays, most of which are of recent vintage, and seven of which appear here for the first time, Christopher S. Hill addresses a large assortment of philosophical issues. Part I presents a deflationary theory of truth, argues that semantic properties like reference and correspondence with fact can also be characterized in deflationary terms, and offers an account of the value of these 'thin' properties, tracing it to their ability to track more substantial properties that are informational or epistemic in character. Part II defends the view that conscious experiences are type-identical with brain states. It addresses a large array of objections to this identity thesis, including objections based on the alleged multiple realizability of experiences, and objections based on Cartesian intuitions about the modeal separability of mind and matter. In the end, however, it maintains that theories of experience based on type-identity should give way to representationalist accounts. Part III presents a representationalist solution to the mind-body problem. It argues that all awareness, including awareness of qualia, is governed by a Kantian appearance/reality distinction—a distinction between the ways objects and properties are represented as being, and the ways they are in themselves. It also presents theories of pain and visual qualia that kick them out of the mind and assign them to locations in body and the external world. Part IV defends reliabilist theories of epistemic justification, deploys such theories in answering Cartesian skepticism, responds critically to Hawthorne's lottery problem and related proposals about the role of knowledge in conversation and practical reasoning, presents a new account of the sources of modeal knowledge, and proposes an account of logical and mathematical beliefs that represents them as immunune to empirical revision.
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About the author

Christopher S. Hill has taught at a number of institutions, including the University of Arkansas, the University of Michigan, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the University of Pittsburgh. He is presently Professor of Philosophy at Brown University. He has published three previous books, and was the editor of Philosophical Topics for twenty years.
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Additional Information

Publisher
OUP Oxford
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Published on
Mar 6, 2014
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Pages
256
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ISBN
9780191644108
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Best For
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Language
English
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Genres
Philosophy / Epistemology
Philosophy / Language
Philosophy / Metaphysics
Philosophy / Mind & Body
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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When Moral Politics was first published two decades ago, it redefined how Americans think and talk about politics through the lens of cognitive political psychology. Today, George Lakoff’s classic text has become all the more relevant, as liberals and conservatives have come to hold even more vigorously opposed views of the world, with the underlying assumptions of their respective worldviews at the level of basic morality. Even more so than when Lakoff wrote, liberals and conservatives simply have very different, deeply held beliefs about what is right and wrong.

Lakoff reveals radically different but remarkably consistent conceptions of morality on both the left and right. Moral worldviews, like most deep ways of understanding the world, are unconscious—part of our “hard-wired” brain circuitry. When confronted with facts that don’t fit our moral worldview, our brains work automatically and unconsciously to ignore or reject these facts, and it takes extraordinary openness and awareness of this phenomenon to pay critical attention to the vast number of facts we are presented with each day. For this new edition, Lakoff has added a new preface and afterword, extending his observations to major ideological conflicts since the book's original publication, from the Affordable Care Act to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the recent financial crisis, and the effects of global warming. One might have hoped such massive changes would bring people together, but the reverse has actually happened; the divide between liberals and conservatives has become stronger and more virulent.

To have any hope of bringing mutual respect to the current social and political divide, we need to clearly understand the problem and make it part of our contemporary public discourse. Moral Politics offers a much-needed wake-up call to both the left and the right.
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