Is the Notion Sound?

Robert Kirk

in Raw Feeling

Published in print October 1996 | ISBN: 9780198236795
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191679353 | DOI:
Is the Notion Sound?

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The whole idea of raw feeling may seem fishy, especially when linked with the Transformation thesis. Does it really make sense? Or is it just a symptom of confusion — a relic of a fundamentally wrong-headed Cartesian outlook? This chapter examines two sets of considerations that might appear to reinforce these doubts. One is Wittgenstein's private language argument, which one might think would demolish the notion. It is argued that even the Transformation thesis survives Wittgensteinian assault. The other considerations are inspired chiefly by science. It seems reasonable to suppose that science has no use for the notion of raw feeling. If so, one might wonder how it can be worth taking seriously. But it is argued that the notion helps us to get clear about genuine problems, which would not vanish even if we gave up talking in those terms. The chapter aims is to show that it is not vulnerable to certain familiar types of objection. The lack of a satisfactory philosophical account of anything like that notion tends to make the objections seem more compelling than they are.

Keywords: Wittgenstein; objection; Transformation thesis; private language; science

Chapter.  17164 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Mind

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