A Public Feud

"A very public feud between two philosophers involving damning book reviews, professional roastings and personal slights shows how bitter, unforgiving - and unwittingly hilarious - academic spats can be, says Stuart Jeffries."

It is a highly amusing and enjoyable article on the fight of two philosophers, Ted Honderich and Colin McGinn, on the issue of consciousness, but the motivations behind the feud, it seems, are more personal... Do read it:

http://books.guardian.co.uk/departments/politicsphilosophyandsociety/story/0,,2230971,00.html

However, there is one paragraph from it that i'd like to post here as an extract. It is unrelated to the feud, but presents an interesting philosophical idea:

"McGinn, by contrast, is the world's leading proponent of the so-called new mysterian position (named after the rock band Quark and the Mysterians) whereby some philosophical problems, consciousness among them, are insoluble. In this, he claims other leading thinkers - Noam Chomsky and Thomas Nagel among them - are new mysterians, too. Chomsky, for instance, maintains that just as a mouse will never be able to speak like a human (because of its biology), so certain problems may be beyond human understanding."

Comments

@ish said…
It's not like you're hitting someone over the head with a hammer. Ted is not very good at philosophy. That's the problem."

its so rude ;[
as Henry s Haskins said nd i v much agree..
"Treat the othr man's faith gently; it is all he has to live with .His mind was created for his own thoughts,not yours or mine"
no doubt they were fightin over their prsnol mattrs //
"In a way, I'm glad it's been published. My book is now getting the attention it deserves. The mighty little McGinn has done me a service."
..........yepee...mission achived mr.Honderich..lolz
Awais said…
I also found these lines very amusing:

"As for Honderich, this is a philosopher who managed to earn the simultaneous hostility of Palestinians and Jews over his book After the Terror, in which he asserted the moral right of Palestinians to resist ethnic cleansing by the Israelis with terrorism."
M. Umer Toor said…
Quote: "Chomsky, for instance, maintains that just as a mouse will never be able to speak like a human (because of its biology), so certain problems may be beyond human understanding."

:-)) Wow!

Yeah but he still seems persistent on 'innate' along with the world. Has there been any major success against his "overly abstruse and biologically disconnected theories"? I think his dirty word innate against conditioning and behaviorism still stands out..

Regards.