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dc.contributor.authorWilliams, Ieuan-
dc.description.abstractThis thesis is concerned with the relation between thought and action. Philosophical accounts of this relation are inevitably based on assumptions about the nature of language. The first purpose of this inquiry is to assess the validity of these assumptions and the cogency of the theories they support. In order to accomplish this it will be necessary, in the first chapter, to discuss a number of general difficulties in the philosophy of language. Th° chapters that follow attempt to show how a particular way of meeting these difficulties has a significant bearing on how the relation between thought and action is to be understood. "human thought", as Geach reminds us, "is both theoretical and practical: we are concerned both with the way things are and with what we ourselves have to do."^^ Our ultimate purpose is to show that the two aspects of thought Geach refers to are related and to indicate how this relationship is possible. Thinking is an intellectual activity and the word "thought" is sometimes used to refer to intellectual activities in general. What divides theories of thought is not disagreement over its intellectual character but rival conceptions of the intellect. Accounts of thought in modern and, in some respects, ancient philosophy complement two contrasting conceptions of mind. For convenience, the terms "internalist" and "externalist" may be used to suggest how these conceptions differ. The internalist conception is an essential feature of the philosophies developed by Descartes and Locke, and the externalist view is exemplified in the work of such different twentieth century philosophers as Wittgenstein and Ryle. In the internalist tradition the mental or intellectual character of thought is elucidated by reference to the idea of privacy, and in the work of Descartes and Locke the privacy of thought is connected with the assumption that the contents of minds are ideas. Locke defined ideas as what the mind is "applied about whilst thinking", by which he meant that ideas are the instruments, materials or vehicles of thought. On this account thoughts are mental acts involving ideas in various ways. Although Locke's account of thought and language and the relation between thought and action is defective there are a number of assumptions in his philosophy which, if interpreted correctly, suggest how our discussion ought to proceed. In order to bring out the difficulties in Locke's account, and to justify the interpretation we believe it requires, his work will be discussed in considerable detail. Locke has been chosen as a representative of internalism in preference to Descartes because a consideration of the latter's excessively generous interpretation of thought to cover all forms of consciousness falls outside the scope of our inquiry. It is now common to describe thought more specifically, mainly by reference to the notions of reflection, deliberation and rationality. We shall follow this practice, although it is worth mentioning that there are philosophers who still regard "thought" as a general term covering a wide range of mental states anil processes.en_GB
dc.publisherUniversity of Stirlingen_GB
dc.titleThought and actionen_GB
dc.typeThesis or Dissertationen_GB
dc.type.qualificationnameDoctor of Philosophyen_GB
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