Forfatter: Ludvig Fæhn Fuglestvedt

An Interview With Georges Rey

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While Noam Chomsky’s importance and influ­ence on contemporary philosophy is undeniable, Georges Rey, professor of philosophy at the University of Maryland, is troubled by Chomsky’s is unwillingness to accept all the implications of his own theories of language and mind. Specifically, Rey argues that Chomsky doesn’t appreciate his theories’ commitment to intentionality, or the way in which mental states are “about” things – speci­fically syllables, words, and sentences with elaborate syn­tactic structure.

Rey is currently on a Fulbright fellowship from the United States, at the Center for the Study of Mind in Nature (CSMN), writing his book Chomsky and Philosophy – Sifting the Insights from the Excess. In this interview Rey explains why he thinks Chomsky’s dismis­sal of various “mind-body” problems, particularly those surrounding intentionality, is an unnecessary excess, but that philosophers who are understandably put off by this excess shouldn’t let it get in the way of an appreciation of the deep insights a Chomskyan approach to linguistics has to offer.

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An Interview With Sebastian Watzl

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A rainy Tuesday morning we arrived at Sebastian Watzl’s office. The appointment was to talk with him about a mouthful of philosophical issues related to attention, his area of expertise. Not long ago, he joined the Centre for the Study of Mind in Nature (CSMN) at the University of Oslo as a postdoctoral fellow, and then, shortly after, as an associate professor contributing to the study of the structure of consciousness. As a travelling man, he has been at all kinds of universities before coming here to Norway. Watzl appeared to us as a down-to-earth, happy-go-lucky fellow. And if you look at his website, you will find the topic of attention all over the place; he researches it non-stop. Yet he is no dull-as-dishwater sprocket faculty member; the man appeared to us as a sagelike fellow, full of meditative insights. But what lies at the back of all this – who is the person behind those glasses and that dark-bearded, friendly face? This, anyhow, is what we set out to uncover, launching the session with some general questions before then focusing our attention towards a deeper level. As it turned out, the real nectar of our conversation only started flowing after the tape recorder was shut off; we carried on talking for an hour. True, missing out on this part could be unfortunate for the readers, but sit tight; a sequel might come before long. For our part, this Tuesday morning was a true philosophical voyage into the dark corners of phenomenal awareness.

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Et intervju med Alexej Kozyrev & Vladimir Mironov

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Den 12., 13. og 14. januar besøkte jeg Det statlige Lomonosovuniversitetet i Moskva (MSU) av interessse for den russiske filosofitradisjonen som jeg aldri har hørt noe om. Den er utelatt fra den typiske filosofiske kanon, men dette kan neppe bety at den ikke finnes. Jeg var ute etter nye vinklinger og tilnærminger til metafysiske og erkjennelsesteoretiske spørsmål, noe jeg tenkte ville være å finne i en annerledes kultur med en annerledes mentalitet. Skjønt ikke altfor annerledes: Fordi Russland har en fot plantet i Europa, burde hennes filosofi ikke være for fremmed – ikke så fjernt at det er vanskelig å knytte til problemstillinger en allerede er kjent med. Å finne kilder til nye perspektiver var altså min motivasjon. Dette mislyktes jeg i, men jeg fikk et nokså godt overblikk over russisk filosofi og et møte med kulturen. Derfor kom denne teksten til å handle mer om kultur og historie enn om metafysikk og erkjennelsesteori.

Nedenfor er å finne to intervjuer av filosofene Alexej Kozyrev og Vladimir Mironov. I ettertid ser jeg at deres ytringer står i samsvar med det jeg siden har lært om landets intellektuelle kultur. Forordet består av mine før-inntrykk av russisk tenkning, noen reiseskildringer, så noen ettertanker rundt de filosofiske samtalene som vi hadde. Samtalenes innhold skal plasseres i konteksten Russlands filosofi.