This book carries forward the discourse on the mind’s engagement with the world. It reviews the semantic and metaphysical debates around internalism and externalism, the location of content and the indeterminacy of meaning in language.
The volume analyzes the writings of Jackson, Chomsky, Putnam, Quine, Bilgrami and others, to reconcile opposing theories of language and the mind. It ventures into Cartesian ontology and Fregean semantics to understand how mental content becomes world-oriented in our linguistic communication. Further, the author explores the liaison between the mind and the world from the phenomenological perspective, particularly, Husserl’s linguistic turn and Heidegger’s intersubjective entreaty for Dasein. The book conceives of thought as a biological and socio-linguistic product which engages with the mind-world question through the conceptual and causal apparatuses of language.
A major intervention in the field of philosophy of language, this book will be useful for scholars and researchers interested in philosophy, phenomenology, epistemology and metaphysics.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgements. Introduction. 1. A Journey From Ontology Towards Semantics 2. Semantic Canvas: Mind and World 3. Meaning Atomism, Meaning Holism and Indeterminacy of Meaning 4. Self-Knowledge and Externalist Appeals 5. Comeback to Phenomenology from Language 6. Beyond Internalism–Externalism. Bibliography. Index.
Sanjit Chakraborty is currently a teaching faculty in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences at the Indian Institute of Management, Indore, and was previously a member of the faculty at the Department of Philosophy at Central University of Hyderabad, India. He is the author of Understanding Meaning and World: A Relook on Semantic Externalism (2016). He has also extensively published papers in journals and edited volumes on the philosophy of language, philosophy of mind, ethics, epistemology and Indian philosophy.
‘Since Descartes the relationship between mind and world has been the central problem of philosophy. There have been many attempts to soften or undercut the dualist picture that sees our public and linguistic behaviour as no more than an indication of a hidden, interior world of consciousness. None have commanded general assent, but in this ambitious and learned book, The Labyrinth of Mind and World: Beyond Internalism-Externalism, Sanjit Chakraborty reviews many of these attempts, and weaves a careful and rich tapestry taking insights from many of the most important writers in both the phenomenological and the analytic traditions. To do so is a major achievement, that will provide a landmark for all future work on the issue.’
—Simon Blackburn, Emeritus Professor, University of Cambridge
‘In this book Chakraborty takes a unique approach to matters of intentionality, one which attempts to combine the phenomenological method with insights from externalist philosophy of language. This will be of interest to those interested in the nature of mental representation.’
—Sanford Goldberg, Professor of Philosophy, Northwestern University