Publication Date

April 2018


Steven Horst




English (United States)


The purpose of this essay is to examine the relationship between mind and truth in John Haugeland?s essays, ?Mind Embodied and Embedded? (1995), ?Objective Perception? (1996), ?Truth & Rule-Following? (1998), and ?Authentic Intentionality? (2002). I will do so by mapping Haugeland?s divergence from his previous alignment with the so-called ?neo-pragmatists,? who in this essay act as a foil against which Haugeland?s later view can be situated. The neo-pragmatist camp largely consists of Wilfrid Sellars and Robert Brandom. Haugeland diverges from this camp in the attempt to illustrate that there is a difference between according with social practices and getting the world right, or, in other words, to illustrate that there is something true about the world independent of us. The four essays in question spell out a conception of understanding in which dynamic perceptual engagement with the world is embedded in an idealized, static structure of truth undergirded by existential commitment. I will argue that these two major aspects of Haugeland?s view are incompatible. Ultimately, this essay seeks to show how Haugeland?s goal of exorcising the demon of ?capital-R Relativism? is unsuccessful by illustrating that there is a flaw in his claim that existential commitment is self-generated.



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