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Analysis on the Excerpt from Richard Rorty's Person's Without Minds

This is the epistemological articulation: "You're talking about X's all right, but practically everything you say about them is false" (272). This is the ontological articulation, which, as Rorty indicates, is an equivalent but also rather different formulation: "Since practically nothing you say is true of X's, you can't be talking bout X's" (272).

It is as if the Antipodean brain is structured to organize neural processes ontologically, in ways that lead to communication, perception, memory, and experience as they are commonly understood on Earth but not as they are either formulated or experienced, at least not in the ordinary world that exists outside the scope of philosophical discourse. To the degree both the neural mechanism and the objects of neural processes among the Antipodeans can be articulated in neurophysical terms, and the more casual and offhand such articulations may be, it follows that a sufficiently refined theory and linguistics of brain and neural function could--as it appears--completely account for rational processes as well as phenomenological events for the entire animal kingdom and indeed the entire cosmos. This possibility, which is fully realized Antipodean potential and performance, is consistent with what Rorty refers to as the need for "some generally ontological categories" that would assimilate or distinguish "referents of expressions" (i.e., that would make meanings) regarding physical and mental entities. It is also consistent with Rorty's reference to the claim that:

(1) it is sufficient for being a mental state that the thing in question be incorrigibly knowable by its possessor, and (2) we do not literally attribute any nonphysical states (e.g., beliefs) to beings which fail to have some such incorrigibly knowable states (Rorty 272).

The notion of the sufficiency of incorrigible knowledge points toward the decisiveness of ontological categories as having significant explanatory power. Indeed,...

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Analysis on the Excerpt from Richard Rorty's Person's Without Minds. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 22:21, December 01, 2015, from
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