[Wittrs] Ontologically Basic Ambiguity: Mode of Existence

  • From: Joseph Polanik <jpolanik@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: wittrsamr@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sun, 21 Mar 2010 17:05:26 -0400

Gordon Swobe wrote:

>I see talk here of Searle's supposed different 'ontological basics',
>whatever that could mean.

>But on Searle's view, subjective mental phenomena (pains, tickles and
>itches) and objective physical facts (mountains, planets and gumball
>machines) share the SAME ontology.

>For some reason people here don't understand that simple fact about
>Searle's philosophy, so I will repeat it in different words:

>Searle does not posit the existence of anything we might call different
>ontological modes of existence (different 'ontological basics').

yes, he does:

Conscious states exist only when they are experienced by some human or
animal subject. in that sense, they are essentially subjective. ...
Because conscious states are subjective in this sense, they have what I
call a first-person ontology, as opposed to the third-person ontology of
mountains and molecules, which can exist even if no living creatures
exist. Subjective states have a first-person ontology ("ontology" here
means mode of existence) because they exist only when they are
experienced by some human or animal agent. They are experienced by some
"I" that has the experience, and it is in this sense that they have a
first person ontology. [Searle. Consciousness and Language. p. 40-41]

Joe


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Nothing Unreal is Self-Aware

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