The Objects of Thought

Paperback | November 1, 2015

byTim Crane

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The Objects of Thought addresses the ancient question of how it is possible to think about what does not exist. Tim Crane argues that the representation of the non-existent is a pervasive feature of our thought about the world, and that we will not adequately understand thought'srepresentational power ("intentionality") unless we have understood the representation of the non-existent. Intentionality is conceived by Crane in terms of the direction of the mind upon an object of thought, or an intentional object. Intentional objects are what we think about. Some intentionalobjects exist and some do not. Non-existence poses a problem because there seem to be truths about non-existent intentional objects, but truths are answerable to reality, and reality contains only what exists. The proposed solution is to accept that there are some genuine truths about non-existentintentional objects, but to hold that they must be reductively explained in terms of truths about what does exist. The Objects of Thought offers both an original account of the nature of intentionality and a solution to the problem of thought about the non-existent.

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The Objects of Thought addresses the ancient question of how it is possible to think about what does not exist. Tim Crane argues that the representation of the non-existent is a pervasive feature of our thought about the world, and that we will not adequately understand thought'srepresentational power ("intentionality") unless we have ...

Tim Crane is Knightbridge Professor of Philosophy at the University of Cambridge, and a Professorial Fellow of Peterhouse College. He is the author of Elements of Mind: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Mind (OUP, 2001), and co-editor (with Katalin Farkas) of Metaphysics: A Guide and Anthology (OUP, 2004). He is the philosophy edito...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:208 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.44 inPublished:November 1, 2015Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198748043

ISBN - 13:9780198748045

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Table of Contents

PART I: OBJECTS1. The problem of nonexistence2. Existence and quantification3. The nature of existence and non-existencePART II: THOUGHT4. The structure of intentionality5. Reductionism and psychologism6. Thinking about specific thingsConcluding remarksBibliographyIndex

Editorial Reviews

"I recommend it highly to those interested not only in the specific matters with which it deals, but also to philosophers of mind more generally." --Guy Longworth, Philosophy