Idealism and Logical Behaviourism:I don't mind or do I?
Dr Andrew Vincent
Date: 28 November 2012, 17:00
Location: Room 0.22, 65-68 Park Place
Prof Andrew Vincent (Honorary Professor, Cardiff School of European Languages, Translation and Politics)
There is something odd about the philosophy of mind within Idealism. Part of this oddity is that Idealism does not have a conventional philosophy of mind as such - at least in all of it forms. In fact - despite the odd sound of this - it is quite often hard to derive an account of either the philosophy of mind or epistemology out of many of the idealists, at least not without saying a number of other things. This is largely because the philosophy of mind and more particularly epistemology, begins with something that many idealist (but not all by any means) find hard to entertain, that is - simply put - the idea of something wholly other (the external object) as completely distinct from the knower. The assignment of most straightforward epistemology is usually the task of accounting for the relation of the two elements, the knower and the object known (or possibly intuition and concept). Idealism, in many shapes, does not take such an assignment too seriously. This however is not the main quarry of my investigation. My main quarry is something more fugitive. A great part of the debate over the knower and the object known - as central to epistemology - is intimately tied to another problem (with which it massively overlaps), that is the relation of mind and body. What I want to do is, initially, lay some very broad parameters of the philosophy of mind debate in the early twentieth century. Then to hone in on one aspect of the debate - logical behaviourism; then to ask the question where does the Idealist understanding of mind fit this configuration (taking Gentile and Bosanquet as examples)? The answer produces unexpected and odd overlaps.
Andrew Vincent is Honorary Professor, Cardiff University and Emeritus Professor of Political Theory, Sheffield University. He is a widely respected theorist specialising in political philosophy, political ideologies, nationalism, state theory, human rights and philosophical idealism. Recent publications include Comparative Political Thought: Theorizing Practices (with Michael Freeden) (2012) and British Idealism: A Guide for the Perplexed (with David Boucher) (2011)
The event was organised by our Political Theory Research Unit.