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Michael Hicks: What Is Thought? | WSB #48

July 10, 2018

What is a thought? There are two ways to approach the problem, says philosopher Michael Hicks. One is as a question about introspective experience. The other - favored by Hicks - is as asking about the nature of interpersonal understanding. We do understand each other; and this is what constitutes the existence of thoughts. With this approach established, Hicks explains to what extent it does or doesn't imply an "external" view of mind. We also compare this conception of thought to Gottlob Frege's, and discuss whether it involves a commitment to a "third realm" of abstract objects.

Next week: Michael Hicks: Fiction-Directed Thought

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Special thanks to Jackie Blum for the podcast art, and The Tin Box for the theme music.
Click here for the full list of episodes!


Michael Hicks (homepage)
"The Thought" (Gottlob Frege)
"The Extended Mind" (Andy Clark, David Chalmers)

Topics discussed:

0:20 - Introduction to Michael Hicks
2:42 - What are thoughts?
14:15 - Internal or extended thinking
23:46 - Meta-ontology
35:03 - Frege and abstract objects