Meeting Time: TR 2:20-3:40 p.m.
Instructor: Dr. Jan Garrett
This course sets up a conversation between Aristotle, the towering figure of ancient philosophy, and George Lakoff, the contemporary cognitive linguist and philosopher. Both thinkers philosophize against the background of the sciences of their time. Aristotle is well known as a contributor to the early history of Logic and Natural Science. Lakoff, our contemporary, has been engaged not only in philosophical debates about the nature of language, imagination, and the mind's relation to the body but in the empirical research programs of cognitive linguistics, a branch of second-generation cognitive science.
Regarding Aristotle, we will look primarily at his physical, epistemological, and metaphysical texts, trying to discover his views on truth, language, perception, thought, knowledge, mind and body, and reality.
Aristotle's view has been characterized as metaphysical realism. Lakoff deliberately calls his view embodied realism. Among other things, the course will explore the similarities and differences of these two "realisms."
Lakoff and his colleague Mark Johnson build on recent researches in cognitive science. They present original work:
As we study the Lakoff-Johnson account we will look for similarities and differences with respect to Aristotle, weighing the stated or likely reasons for the positions defended and attempting to determine their relative defensibility.
We will likely use an anthology of selections from Aristotle's writings, either Aristotle: Selections, translations by Irwin and Fine (published by Hackett Publishing Co.) or A New Aristotle Reader, edited by J. L. Akrill (published by Princeton University Press).
The primary texts to be studied are:
Cat. 1-5 (on the categories and the primacy of substance)
De Int. selections (on language, mind, and reality)
Poetics 21 and Rhetoric 3.26ff. (on the nature and use of metaphor)
Phys. II, IV.10-14. (on nature, the causes, time)
Nic.Eth.VI.1-8 (on the various types of knowing)
Metaphysics I.1-2 (sensation, experience, knowledge, wisdom)
Posterior Analytics II.19 (on experience, intuition, and knowledge)
On the Soul, selections (on perception, imagination, understanding)
Metaphysics III.1, IV.1-4, VII, XII, selections (further inquiries on substance and being)
G. Lakoff and M. Johnson, Philosophy in the Flesh (University of Chicago Press, 1999)
(listed by Part and Chapter)
I.1. Who are we?
I.2. The Cognitive Unconscious
I.3. The Embodied Mind
I.4. Primary Metaphor and Subjective Experience
I.5. Complex Metaphor
I.6. Embodied Realism vs. A Priori Philosophy
I.7. Realism and Truth
II.9. The Cognitive Science of Philosophical Ideas
II.11. Events and Causes
III.15. The Cognitive Science of Philosophy
III.16. The Cognitive Science of Early Greek Metaphysics
II.12. Cognitive Science and the Idea of Mind
II.13. Cognitive Science and the Idea of Self
III.17. Cognitive Science and Descartes
II.14. Cognitive Science and Morality
III.20. Cognitive Science and Kantian Morality