Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Coyne on Meaning

HT: V.J. Torley

Prof. Edward Feser responds to Prof. Jerry Coyne's rather meager attempt to explain intentionality.

Feser does a fine job, but I couldn't help but make some sort of comment about Coyne's startling statement:

"Saying that thoughts have meanings that 'lie beyond themselves' simply assumes what Torley’s trying to prove."

Does he really mean that thoughts don't have meanings that lie beyond themselves? So when Coyne says that, "Evolution is true," this isn't a thought that refers to something called evolution and asserting that it corresponds to historical reality? What then does Coyne mean by saying it? Is it the same as belching? Spitting? Blowing his nose? What exactly are we to make of his statement? Just Coyne passing more gas, I suppose.

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