I’m trying to read Fodors “The mind doesn’t work that way”. I’m failing. The main reason is that I simply don’t have any understanding any more of what the word “mind” and the corresponding adjective “mental” mean. They appear to be fictions. There is experience. No doubt about that, but experience is not the same thing as mind. It doesn’t “work” any way, for example. It also is not modular, nor does it have any architecture whatsoever. In fact, experience is our starting point in understanding what “is”. Experience is not a thing, or a stuff, of any kind at all. It is thus not some kind of spooky Cartesian alternative to “material reality”. Experience is the P-world.

P-worlds are countable, discrete. To each belongs a nervous system in a body in an environment. By associating minds with the functional domain of the nervous system, a fictitious entity is created that then can’t be found. As Clark and Chalmers point out, if you take that view, then you find bits of this mind scattered all over the place: in notebooks, artifacts, etc. It leaks out of the head. Nervous systems, considered as things, are just objects in the environment, like notebooks.

I’m confused, but so is everybody else, which is some comfort. My approach hitherto has been to junk the mentalese vocabulary. No more talk of minds and the mental. But that prevents me encroaching on a lot of our collective discourse, and ensures that P-world theory remains marginalized, and can aspire at best to account for aspects of our being that are currently without any story. Hence the focus on madness and sex. How, then, can I develop the discussion towards received areas?

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