54 publications of Place that refer to Wittgenstein (1953). Philosophical Investigations (English translation by G. E. M. Anscombe).
Lecture 14: Varieties of explanation in psychology. (6/2/1974). Section 4
[Abstract]The schools of psychology. Feigl's three languages of psychology. Incommensurability in the explanation of behaviour. The evidential basis of mentalist language. The explanation of facts and the explanation of phenomena. Molecular languages in the explanation of behavioral phenomena: cybernetics and neurophysiology. The identity of factual reference.
Download: Amsterdam lecture 14
Lecture 2: Metaphysics & Epistemology (3/10/1973). Section 1
[Abstract]Metaphysics as meta-science. The three divisions of metaphysics: Metaphysical Epistemology, Ontology and Cosmology.
Knowledge and belief as propositional attitudes. Sentences and propositions; words and concepts. Necessary and contingent truth. The correspondence and coherence theories of truth
Download: Amsterdam Lecture 02.pdf
Place, U. T. (1956). Is consciousness a brain process? British Journal of Psychology, 47, 44-50.
The revised version from 1997, see download (below), is not published and incorporates revisions proposed in Place (1997g). Publications citing Place (1956): See publications citing 'Is conscious a brain process?'
[References] [168 citing publications] [56 referring publications by Place] [15 reprinting collections]
Download: 1956 Is Consciousness a Brain Process.pdf 1956 1997 Is Consciousness a Brain Process - revised version.pdf
Place, U. T. (1967). Comments on H. Putnam 'Psychological predicates'. In W. H. Capitan, & D. D. Merrill (Eds.), Art, mind and religion: Proceedings of the 1965 Oberlin Colloquium in Philosophy (pp.55-68). Pittsburgh University Press.
[References] [Is reply to] [Talks] [3 citing publications] [6 referring publications by Place]
Download: 1967 Comments on H. Putnam's 'Psychological Predicates'.pdf
Place, U. T. (1969b). Collected papers on brain, mind and consciousness [Doctoral thesis submitted 1969 for the degree of D.Litt, degree awarded in 1972]. University of Adelaide.
[References] [1 referring publications by Place]
Download: 1969b Brain, Mind and Consciousness - Introduction DLitt Thesis.pdf [includes editorial changes by UTP]
Place, U. T. (1971b). Understanding the language of sensations. Australasian Journal of Philosophy, 49, 158-166
[References] [2 referring publications by Place]
Download: 1971b Understanding the Language of Sensations.pdf
Place, U. T. (1973-09-26). Lecture 1: Philosophy, philosophical psychology and its relevance for empirical psychology (26/9/1973). Section 1
[Abstract]The nature of philosophy and psychology. The distinction between the philosophy of psychology and philosophical psychology. The relevance of philosophical psychology for empirical psychology.
Download: Amsterdam Lecture 01.pdf
Place, U. T. (1973-12-12). Lecture 10: Action & movement. (12/12/1973). Section 3
[Abstract]Common sense psychology and the explanation of behaviour. The concept of action
Download: Amsterdam Lecture 10.pdf
Place, U. T. (1974-02-20). Lecture 16: The Mind as a substance (20/2/1974). Section 5
[Abstract]Mental substance. The substantive 'mind' in ordinary language idiom. The reference of the first person pronoun - the Kantian argument. Aristotle's doctrine of substance and the Cartesian argument. Personal identity - the Lockean argument.
Download: Amsterdam lecture 16
Place, U. T. (1974-02-27). Lecture 17: The categories of mental life - mental states (27/2/1974) Section 5
[Abstract]Two arguments for the thesis that a person or human organism is a spatio-temporally extended and located substance which has both mental and non-mental, physical properties (continuation of lecture 16). Ontological taxonomy of mental predicates. Mental processes, mental events and mental states. Logical behaviourism. Knowledge of our own mental states. Mental dispositions and continuous mental states
Download: Amsterdam lecture 17
Place, U. T. (1974-03-06). Lecture 18: Mental processes, experience and introspection (6/3/1974). Section 5
[Abstract]Mental activities and experiences. The privacy of mental processes. The control and interpretation of experience. Introspection
Download: Amsterdam lecture 18
Place, U. T. (1974-03-13). Lecture 19: Perception, topic neutrality and the properties of experience (13/3/1974). Section 5
[Abstract]Phenomenalism. Topic neutrality of phenomenal descriptions. Introspective reports. The expression of pain. Dream reports. Thesis: the language we use to describe our private experiences and sensations is a metaphorical extension of a language whose basic function is to describe material objects and their properties as they exist and occur in a three dimensionally extended spatial world
Download: Amsterdam lecture 19
Place, U. T. (1974-03-27). Lecture 21: The Mind-Brain Identity Theory (27/3/1974). Section 6
[Abstract]The mind-body problem and its history. The Mind-Brain Identity Theory.
Download: Amsterdam Lecture 21.pdf
Place, U. T. (1974-05-01). Lecture 23: Presumptive criteria of identity and Central State Materialism (1/5/1974). Section 6
[Abstract]Presumptive criteria of identity: spatio-temporal location, micro reductive explanation and the explanation of common observations. Central State Materialism
Download: Amsterdam Lecture 23.pdf
Place, U. T. (1974-05-15). Lecture 25: Theories of emotion and the nature of emotional reactions (15/5/1974). Section 7
[Abstract]Emotion as experience. Physiological theories of emotion, The vocabulary of feeling and emotion. Enjoying. Wanting. Dimensions of emotion. Measuring emotions
[References] [1 referring publications by Place]
Download: Amsterdam Lecture 25.pdf
Place, U. T. (1977a). Twenty years on - "Is consciousness still a brain process?" Open Mind, 6,3-10.
[References] [3 referring publications by Place]
Download: 1977a Twenty Years On - Is Consciousness Still a Brain Process.pdf
Place, U. T. (1977b). Filosofie, psychologie en filosofische psychologie. In K. Soudijn, & H. Bergman (Eds.), Ontwikkelingen in de psychologie (pp. 23-38). Boom/Intermediair.
Translated in Dutch and edited by Karel Soudijn.
Download: 1977b Philosophy, Psychology and Philosophical Psychology.pdf
Place, U. T. (1981a). Skinner's Verbal Behavior I - why we need it. Behaviorism, 9, 1-24. www.jstor.org/stable/27758970
[Abstract]To explain behaviour in terms of intensional or mentalistic concepts is to explain the behaviour in question on the assumption of a consistent and rational connection between what the agent does and what he says or what is said to him and that therefore any general account of verbal or linguistic behaviour which employs such concepts is necessarily circular, since it explains the acquisition of linguistic skills on the assumption that the speaker already possesses such skills. It follows that this circularity can only be avoided by developing a theory of verbal or linguistic behaviour which is stated entirely in a nonintensional or extensional language. At the present time, the most developed conceptual system for description and explanation of the behaviour of organisms at the molar level in purely extensional terms is that provided by the so-called ‘Radical Behaviorism’ of B. F. Skinner and his followers. Furthermore, in his book Verbal Behavior Skinner (1957) has used this conceptual framework to develop a theory of verbal or linguistic behaviour which represents the most ambitious attempt made so far to formulate a theory of linguistic behaviour in nonintensional or extensional terms.
Revised version is from 1999.
[References] [3 citing publications] [9 referring publications by Place]
Download: 1981a 1999 Skinner's Verbal Behavior I - Why We Need It - revised version.pdf
Place, U. T. (1983a). Comments on Mark Burton's theses. Behaviour Analysis, 4(1), 22-31.
[References] [Is reply to] [1 referring publications by Place]
Download: 1983a Comments on Mark Burton's Theses.pdf
Place, U. T. (1986b). Do we have intuitive knowledge of what is the case in all possible worlds [Presentation]. Department of Philosophy, University of York, 6th November 1986.
Download: 1986b Do We Have Intuitive Knowledge of What is the Case in All Possible Worlds.pdf at the end is included an appendix which explicates the structure of the main argument of the paper
Place, U. T. (1988b). Skinner's distinction between rule-governed and contingency-shaped behaviour. Philosophical Psychology, 1, 225-234. doi:10.1080/09515088808572941
[Abstract]The distinction that Skinner draws in his 'An operant analysis of problem solving' (1966, 1969, 1984) between 'rule-governed' and 'contingency'shaped' behaviour is arguably the most important single contribution to the theory of behaviour that he has made in a long and uniquely distinguished career. The concept of a 'rule' as a 'contingency-specifying' verbal formula which exercises 'stimulus control' over other aspects of the behaviour of a linguistically competent human being presents a formidable challenge to contemporary cognitive psychology in that the 'Representation' and 'computation' of environmental contingencies is seen as confined to verbally controlled behaviour emitted by linguistically competent human subjects. It also suggests a way of filling a major gap in the account of language offered by Skinner in his earlier book Verbal Behavior (1957), namely the lack of any account of how the speaker is able to use instructions to evoke behaviour which the listener never previously emitted and declarative sentences to convey information about contingencies which the listener has never previously encountered.
[References] [Talks] [5 citing publications] [2 referring publications by Place]
Download: 1988b Skinner's Distinction Between Rule Governed and Contingency Shaped Behaviour.pdf
Place, U. T. (1988e). The problem of mental content from the standpoint of linguistic empiricism [Presentation prepared for the Course on Functionalism and Content, Inter-university Post-graduate Centre, Dubrovnik, Yugoslavia (since 1991 Croatia), 7-15 September 1988] Inter-university Post-graduate Centre.
Download: 1988e The Problem of Mental Content from the Standpoint of Linguistic Empiricism .pdf
Place, U. T. (1989a). Low claim assertions. In J. Heil (Ed.), Cause, mind and meality: Essays honoring C. B. Martin (pp. 121-135). Kluwer. doi:10.1007/978-94-011-9734-2_9
Keywords: colours, mind-brain identity theory, introspection, phenomenological fallacy, topic neutrality
[References] [2 citing publications] [4 referring publications by Place]
Download: 1989a Low claim assertions.pdf
Place, U. T. (1989g). Some thought on the work of the Würzburg School and the controversy it provoked, prompted by a visit to Würzburg 10-16 October 1989 [Unpublished presentation at the Departmental Seminar, Departement of Psychology, University College of North Wales, Bangor, 2nd November 1989].
[Abstract]The debate between the Würzburg School and E. B. Titchener which took place during the first decade of this century was not, as it is often portrayed, a debate about the existence or non-existence of imageless thought. It is better described as a conceptual and terminological issue about the nature of consciousness, the place of meaning in consciousness and the role of introspection (Selbstbeobachtung) in its empirical investigation. Titchener's contention that in introspection the trained psychologist strips away meaning in order to provide a description of raw uninterpreted experience is shown to be the absurdity that it is by Wittgenstein's (1953) 'private language argument'. There is, nevertheless, a useful distinction to be drawn between two ways of acquiring mental self-knowledge: (a) introspection (Selbstbeobachtung) which yields observational knowledge of the qualia of ongoing experience, and (b) inner perception (innere Wahrnehmung) which yields intuitive knowledge of the onset and content of dispositional mental states. In terms of this distinction, the Würzburg protocols are based on an inner perception of the content of the reported thoughts rather than on introspective observation of the qualia of experience. The paper concludes with an assessment of the significance of the Würzburg-Titchener controversy for the subsequent history of psychology and for contemporary issues in psychology and the philosophy of mind.
Download: 1989g Some Thought on the Work of the Wurzburg School and the Controversy it Provoked.pdf
Place, U. T. (1990a). E. G. Boring and the mind-brain identity theory. The British Psychological Society, History and Philosophy of Psychology Newsletter, 11, 20-31.
[References] [Talks] [5 citing publications] [3 referring publications by Place]
Download: 1990a E.G. Boring and the Mind-Brain Identity Theory.pdf added to the end of the document are excerpts from Boring, 1933
Place, U. T. (1990e). Critical Notice [Unpublished book review of Neurophilosophy: Toward a Unified Science of the Mind Brain by Patricia Smith Churchland. MIT Press, l986].
Keywords: conceptual analysis, eliminative materialism, mind-brain identity theory, neurophilosophy
This critical notice was commissioned by the editor of the Quarterly Journal of Philosophy in 1986 when the book first appeared; but since it was not completed until four years later in 1990, it was never submitted. It was revised in 1999 in anticipation of a meeting with Pat Churchland in Siena, Italy, in October of that year - a meeting that because of the illness of Place never took place.
[References] [Reviewed publication(s)]
Download: 1990e Critical Notice.pdf
Place, U. T. (1991k). From syntax to reality: the picture theory of meaning [Discussion paper presented to a small conference on 'Footprints of the Brain in the Syntax of Natural Language' at the Neurosciences Institute, New York, February 1991].
Keywords: picture theory of meaning
[References] [Talks] [1 referring publications by Place]
Download: 1991k From Syntax to Reality - the Picture Theory of Meaning.pdf revised version from 1999
Place, U. T. (1992a). Behavioral contingency semantics and the correspondence theory of truth. In S. C. Hayes,& L. J. Hayes (Eds.), Understanding verbal relations: The Second and Third International Institute on Verbal Relations (Chapter 9, pp. 135-151). Context Press.
Keywords: behaviour analysis, behavioural contingency semantics, correspondence theory of truth, picture theory of meaning, situation, three-term contingency
[References] [Talks] [2 citing publications] [15 referring publications by Place]
Download: 1992a Behavioral Contingency Semantics and the Correspondence Theory of Truth.pdf
Place, U. T. (1992b). Is there an operant analysis of animal problem-solving? [Conference presentation, presented at 18th Annual Convention of the Association for Behavior Analysis - May 25-28 1992 - San Francisco, California]. Association for Behavior Analysis. Abstract published in Proceedings of 18th Annual Convention of the Association for Behavior Analysis - May 25-28 1992 - San Francisco, California (p. 155). Society for the Advancement of Behavior Analysis.
[Abstract]In 'An operant analysis of problem-solving', Skinner (1966/1969/1988) develops an account of problem-solving based on the distinction between two different ways in which an organism can learn to adapt to environmental contingencies: (1) contingency-shaped behavior in which the behavior of an organism is progressively shaped by repeated exposure to the contingency itself, and (2) rule-governed behavior in which a verbally competent human being adapts to a contingency by constructing a verbal formula or rule which is said to "specify" the contingency in question. A rule may be constructed, as in the case of contingency-shaped behavior, in the light of repeated exposure to the contingency itself. It may equally well be based on information about the contingency supplied by another speaker, on information derived from a written text, or on an inference from other rules derived from any or all these sources. It is this case where the agent infers a new rule tailor-made for the problem with which he/she is confronted that Skinner has in mind in offering an analysis of problem-solving in these terms. There is a growing body of empirical evidence (Hayes 1989) which confirms the accuracy of Skinner's description of problem-solving as it occurs in the case of verbally competent human beings. But animals also solve problems; and so do pre-verbal human infants. This kind of problem-solving cannot simply be a matter of contingency-shaping, though previous contingency-shaped behavior is the only resource from which a pre-verbal organism can draw in selecting an appropriate problem-solving strategy. It requires some mechanism like that which Köhler (1925) refers to as "insight" whereby the stimulus class which currently controls a particular response class is somehow stretched so as to include the current stimulus situation. The case for postulating such a behavior mediating mechanism within the conceptual framework of radical behaviorism is argued by appealing (a) to the analogy between attending behavior and thinking by talking to oneself, and (b) to the process whose existence is implied by Skinner's (1938) account of "stimulus class" whereby an organism learns to break up its stimulus environment into stimulus classes "along the natural lines of fracture."
Keywords: the natural lines of fracture, stimulus class, rule-governed behaviour, problem-solving, Skinner
[References] [Talks] [1 referring publications by Place]
Download: 1992b Is There an Operant Analysis of Animal Problem-Solving.pdf
Place, U. T. (1992e). Behaviorism and behavior analysis in Britain - An historical overview. The ABA Newsletter, 15(4), 5-7.
Download: 1992e Behaviorism and Behavior Analysis in Britain.pdf
Place, U. T. (1992j). Towards a reconciliation between the associationist and radical behaviorist traditions in the experimental analysis of behavior. [Unpublished paper. Presented under the title 'The three term contingency as a link between the associationist and radical behaviorist traditions in the experimental analysis of behavior' as Invited Address to the First International Congress on Behaviorism and the Sciences of Behavior, Guadalajara, Mexico, 6th October 1992].
[Abstract]It is an implication of the Law of Non-Contradiction that two incompatible descriptions of the same class of phenomena cannot both be true. This suggests that the future for radical behaviorism must lie in achieving a reconciliation with other disciplines and approaches studying the same or closely related phenomena. The approach known as "associative learning theory" shares a common data basis with radical behaviorism in the area of the experimental analysis of animal behavior. It is separated from radical behaviorism by a different view of the nature of what is learned. According to the radical behaviorist, under certain antecedent conditions (discriminative stimulus + establishing condition) an organism learns to emit a response. According to associative learning theory what is learned is an association between a pair of consecutive stimulus events. When presented with the first member of the pair, the organism learns to "predict" or "expect" the second member of the pair. Until recently, the principal application of this principle was Rescorla and Wagner's (1972) analysis of Pavlovian (respondent) conditioning. More recently, Adams and Dickinson's (1981) reinforcer-devaluation experiment has led associationists to pay more attention to instrumental (operant) learning. It has also opened up an interesting divergence of views between Dickinson (1988; Heyes and Dickinson, 1991; Dickinson & Balleine, forthcoming) who takes it as evidence of a discontinuity between respondent conditioning, which he interprets in terms of the establishment of mechanical associations, and operant learning which he interprets in terms of the ‘beliefs’ and ‘desires’ of philosophical action theory, and Rescorla (1991) who uses it as evidence for an interpretation of operant learning based on the same principles of stimulus-stimulus association invoked by Rescorla and Wagner to account for respondent conditioning. Standing in the way of a reconciliation between radical behaviorism and associative learning theory are the misgivings of the former about the use made by the latter of ‘mentalistic’ concepts, such as ‘expect,’ ‘anticipate,’ and ‘predict.’ These misgivings may be allayed if attention is paid to the results of applying to such concepts the technique, known as ‘conceptual analysis,’ developed by Wittgenstein (1953; 1958) and the philosophers of the Oxford ‘ordinary language’ school. A recent application of this technique to the linguistic phenomenon known variously as ‘intentionality’ or ‘intensionality’ shows that it consists of two distinct varieties of ‘referential anomaly’ which ‘infect’ the grammatical objects of certain verbs. In one case, the grammatical object is used to indicate a range of possible events any one of which, if it were to occur, would constitute a manifestation or satisfaction of a disposition. In the other case, the grammatical object functions as a quotation of what the agent either has said or might be expected to say or have said. Referential anomaly of the dispositional kind is both unavoidable and benign, but the use of quotations to characterize behavioral dispositions is acceptable for scientific purposes only in those cases where the behavior in question is in fact subject to linguistic control. Since the grammatical object of the verbs ‘know,’ ‘believe’ and ‘think,’ as they occur in belief/desire explanations, takes the form of an embedded indicative sentence in oratio obliqua or indirect reported speech, Dickinson's explanation of instrumental/operant learning in animals involves the scientifically unacceptable metaphor of linguistic initiation and control. Rescorla's theory, on the other hand, requires nothing more than that the organism learn to ‘expect’ or ‘anticipate’ an event (the outcome), given the combination of an antecedent discriminative stimulus and the stimulus constituted by the incipient emission of the response which it evokes. In this case the anomaly of reference in the noun phrase which occurs as the grammatical object of the verb reflects its use as a device for indicating a range of possible outcomes any one of which, if it occurred, would fulfill and confirm the expectation which it specifies.
UTP made changes to the text of the presentation in 1995 and in 1999.
Download: 1992j 1999 Towards a Reconciliation between the Ascociationist and Redical Behaviorist Traditions in the Experimental Analysis of Behavior.pdf
Place, U. T. (1993c). A radical behaviorist methodology for the empirical investigation of private events. Behavior and Philosophy, 20, 25-35. www.jstor.org/stable/27759281
[Abstract]Skinner has repeatedly asserted that he does not deny either the existence of private events or the possibility of studying them scientifically. But he has never explained how his position in this respect differs from that of the mentalist or provided a practical methodology for the investigation of private events within a radical behaviorist perspective. With respect to the first of these deficiencies, I argue that observation statements describing a public state of affairs in the common public environment of two or more observers which those observers confirm as a correct description provide a far more objective and secure foundation for empirical knowledge than statements describing private events in the experience of a single individual. In the course of this argument, I also invoke Wittgenstein's (1953) demonstration — his 'private language argument' — of the incoherence of traditional subjective empiricism. Regarding the second deficiency, I argue that observation statements describing private events can serve as data for an objective study, provided that (a) the verbal behavior in which they consist and its context are objectively observed and recorded, and (b) an explanation is given of how this verbal behavior is generated by the events it reports.
Keywords: methodological behaviorism, objectivity principle, private events, private language argument, radical behaviorism
[References] [Talks] [6 citing publications] [3 referring publications by Place]
Download: 1993c A Radical Behaviorist Methodology for the Empirical Investigation of Private Events.pdf
Place, U. T. (1993d). Holism and cognitive dissonance in the discrimination of correspondence between sentences and situations. Acta Analytica, 8(10), 143-155.
[Abstract]A synthetic proposition is true, if there exists a situation corresponding to that which the proposition depicts. Assurance that such correspondence obtains depends on the coherence of a body of pragmatically tested beliefs, anchored to reality by objective observation statements endorsed as correct by the relevant linguistic community. Hull's "primitive suggestibility" and Festinger's "cognitive dissonance" are invoked to explain how failures of correspondence are detected.
Keywords: conceptualism, correspondence theory of truth, holism, picture theory of meaning
Added to the full text: unpublished rephrasing of some of the central points of this article by the author.
[References] [Talks] [5 referring publications by Place]
Download: 1993d Holism and Cognitive Dissonance in the Discrimination of Correspondence between Sentences and Situations.pdf
Place, U. T. (1993h). Psychologism and anti-psychologism: An historical overview [Conference presentation]. Proceedings of the British Psychological Society 1993, 37.
[Abstract]Psychologism is the (mistaken) belief that logic is a descriptive science, that the laws of logic describe how people think in the way that the laws of motion describe how things move. Anti-psychologism repudiates psychologism, holding that logic is a normative or prescriptive science like ethics. Its laws tell us how people ought to think, not how they actually think in practice. Psychologism has always had a strong following within psychology, even though the difficulty most human subjects encounter in making correct logical inferences is not easily reconciled with it. But in philosophy the influence of Frege (1894) on Russell and Wittgenstein on the one hand and Husserl on the other has ensured that anti-psychologism has been the dominant orthodoxy both in Austro-Anglo-Saxon Analytic Philosophy and in Continental (German-French) Phenomenology. More recently, Fodor (1975) has pointed out that the causal role played by formally stated logical rules in the basic software of the serial-digital computer shows (a) that psychologism cannot be dismissed, as it has been in the past, on the grounds that logical principles are not the kind of thing that can enter into a causal relation, and (b) that if, as Fodor himself thinks, the serial-digital computer is the right model for the functioning of the brain, psychologism must actually be true. With the replacement of the serial-digital computer by the connectionist network as the preferred model for the way the brain functions, anti-psychologism looks set to become the dominant orthodoxy once again. But this time the case will be argued, not on a priori grounds, but on the the empirical evidence which renders psychologism a massively implausible account of how thought is actually generated.
Download: 1993h Psychologism and Anti-Psychologism - A Historical Overview.pdf
Place, U. T. (1995a). The Searle fallacy: a reply to John Beloff (and in passing to John Searle). The British Psychological Society, History and Philosophy of Psychology Newsletter, 21, 5-18.
[References] [Is reply to] [Is replied by]
Download: 1995a The Searle Fallacy a Reply to John Beloff (and in passing to John Searle).pdf
Place, U. T. (1995c). Conceptual analysis as the empirical study of linguistic convention [Conference presentation abstract]. Proceedings of the British Psychological Society 1995, 143.
[Abstract]Recent developments such as connectionism in the field of artificial intelligence and selectionism in the neurosciences point away from a conception of the rules of language as a set of formal principles genetically inscribed onto the brain's equivalent of a hard disk and towards the notion that they are social conventions acquired and maintained by the error-correcting practices of a linguistic community. These developments should lead to a revival, not only of an empiricist/behaviourist linguistics, but also of conceptual analysis conceived as the empirical investigation of linguistic convention, using as its research tool Garfinkel's ethnomethodological experiment in which the putative convention is deliberately flouted so that the social consequences of so doing can be observed or, in the case of a thought experiment, imagined. Some implications of such a revival for our conception of the role of the philosopher in relation to psychology are examined. It is suggested that in order to explain how a "grammatical investigation" (Wittgenstein 1953) can throw light on the structure of reality, we need to invoke a combination of Frege's (1891/1960) "function and argument" analysis of the sentence and Wittgenstein's (1921/1961) "picture theory" of its meaning. This theoretical underpinning shows us how conceptual analysis construed as an empirical investigation of linguistic conventions can yield (a) a conception of mental life as proceeding from mental activity/process through an instantaneous mental event to a mental disposition, and (b) an argument against the existence of abstract objects such as the mind and its faculties.
Keywords: picture theory of meaning
Download: 1995c Conceptual Analysis as the Empirical Study of Linguistic Convention.pdf
Place, U. T. (1996i). The properties of conscious experiences: A second reply to John Beloff. The British Psychological Society, History and Philosophy of Psychology Newsletter, 23, 31-33. 1996i The Properties of Conscious Experiences A Second Reply to John Beloff.pdf
[References] [Is reply to]
Place, U. T. (1996j). Linguistic behaviorism as a philosophy of empirical science. In W. O'Donohue, & R. Kitchener (Eds.), The Philosophy of Psychology ( Chapter 9, pp. 126-140). Sage. doi:10.4135/9781446279168.n9
[Abstract]Linguistic behaviorism is a philosophy of science with application to every empirical science from physics to sociology. It holds that • philosophy, including the philosophy of science, uses conceptual analysis to study the interface between language and the 'reality' it depicts, • conceptual analysis is an empirical investigation of the conventions governing the construction of intelligible sentences in natural language and its technical derivatives, • conformity to linguistic convention is maintained by selective social reinforcement. It endorses the analytic/synthetic distinction, a picture theory of the meaning of sentences, a correspondence theory of synthetic truth and a counterfactual theory of causal necessity.
Keywords: correspondence theory of truth, picture theory of meaning
[References] [Talks] [2 citing publications] [10 referring publications by Place] [1 reprinting collections]
Download: 1996j Linguistic Behaviorism as a Philosophy of Empirical Science.pdf
Place, U. T. (1996l). Folk psychology from the standpoint of conceptual analysis. In W. O'Donohue, & R. Kitchener (Eds.) The Philosophy of Psychology (Chapter 17, pp. 264-270). Sage. doi:10.4135/9781446279168.n17
[Abstract]Before deciding what status should be given to folk psychology within scientific psychology, we must understand its linguistic peculiarities. To do that, we need to attend to research on the topic within the philosophical tradition known as "conceptual analysis." This research enables us to identify six respects in which folk psychological language can lead us astray, when used in a scientific context: (1) the creation of bogus abstract entities by the process of "nominalizing" predicates and other non-substantival parts of speech, (2) the persistent use of adjectives with evaluative (good/bad) connotations, (3) the systematic evaluation of the content of other people's cognitive attitudes and judgments from the standpoint of the speaker, (4) the distortion of causal accounts of human action by the demand for a single scapegoat on whom to pin the blame when things go wrong, (5) the use of the metaphor of linguistic control when explaining behavior that is not subject to that type of control, (6) the unavoidable use of simile when describing private experience.
[References] [Talks] [1 citing publications] [2 referring publications by Place]
Download: 1996l Folk Psychology from the Standpoint of Conceptual Analysis.pdf
Place, U. T. (1996m). Metaphysics as the empirical investigation of the interface between language and reality. Acta Analytica,11(15), 97-118.
[Abstract]The rules of syntax and semantics on conformity to which linguistic communication depends are construed as social conventions instilled and maintained by the error-correcting practices of a linguistic community. That conception argues for the revival of conceptual analysis construed as the empirical investigation of such conventions using the ethnomethodological thought experiment as its primary research tool, and for a view of metaphysics as the empirical study of the interface between utterances and the reality they depict.
[References] [Talks] [2 referring publications by Place]
Download: 1996m Metaphysics as the Empirical Study of the Interface between Language and Reality.pdf
Place, U. T. (1997b). Linguistic behaviorism and the correspondence theory of truth. Behavior and Philosophy, 25, 83-94. www.jstor.org/stable/27759370
[Abstract]Linguistic Behaviorism (Place, 1996) is an attempt to reclaim for the behaviorist perspective two disciplines, linguistics and linguistic philosophy, most of whose practitioners have been persuaded by Chomsky's (1959) Review of B. F. Skinner's (1957) Verbal Behavior that behaviorism has nothing useful to contribute to the study of language. It takes as axiomatic (a) that the functional unit of language is the sentence, and (b) that sentences are seldom repeated word-for-word, but are constructed anew on each occasion of utterance out of units, words, phrases and turns of phrase, that are repeated. On this view, the problem of discriminating the true from the false arises from the use of novel declarative sentences (statements) to depict or, to use Skinner's term, "specify" contingencies the like of which the listener need never have encountered and to which he would otherwise have no access. In such cases the listener needs to distinguish among the sentences he receives from other speakers between those where the situation depicted/specified corresponds to that which actually exists at the time and place specified in the sentence and are, therefore, true, and those to which no actual situation corresponds and which are, therefore, false.
Keywords: correspondence theory of truth, linguistic behaviorism
[References] [Talks] [1 citing publications]
Download: 1997b Linguistic Behaviourism and the Correspondence Theory of Truth.pdf
Place, U. T. (1998a). From mystical experience to biological consciousness: a pilgrim's progress? In Man Cheung Chung (Ed.), Current Trends in History and Philosophy of Psychology, (Vol. 1, 1998, chapter 8, pp. 43-48). British Psychological Society.
[Abstract]I recount the history of a thought process leading from an adolescent interest in mystical experience to an article entitled 'Is consciousness a brain process?' (Place 1956) in which I gave an affirmative answer to that question. A psychological research project designed to demonstrate the adaptive function of a personality transformation brought about through mystical experience becomes an attempt to resolve the mind-body problem through an empirical evaluation of the hypothesis that consciousness is a behaviour-controlling process in the brain. The mystic's insistence on the inadequacy of words to describe such experiences leads through the logical positivist's claim that religious language is nonsense, to the view that nothing that introspecting subjects say about their experiences is inconsistent with anything the physiologist might say about the brain processes in which on this view they consist.
This is a shortened version of Place (2004).
[References] [Related] [Talks]
Download: 1998a From Mystical Experience to Biological Consciousness.pdf
Place, U. T. (1999a). Ryle's behaviorism. In W. O'Donohue, & R. Kitchener (Eds.), Handbook of Behaviorism (Chapter 13, pp. 361-398). Academic Press. doi:10.1016/B978-012524190-8/50014-0
[Abstract]A distinction is drawn between the OR-behaviorism of the Americans which wants to make psychology more scientific and the OUR-behaviourism of Wittgenstein and Ryle which comes from the philosophy of language. Ryle's doctrines are classified into those that derive from Wittgenstein and those that are peculiar to Ryle. The latter are sub-classified into failures and successes. Criticisms of Ryle's position by Place, Geach, Medlin, Armstrong and Martin are examined and, where possible, rebutted. I conclude that, with some important exceptions, the dispositional analysis of mental concepts survives, as does, more controversially, the hypothetical analysis of dispositional statements.
'Brian Medlin challenges Ullin Place on the question of probity in Place's paper "Ryle's Behaviorism" and holds him accountable for defaming him. Medlin wants this rectified. In further correspondence Medlin wants the passage withdrawn from the paper. As the book had already been published, Ullin requested from the publisher that a corrigendum slip be printed and inserted into unsold copies of the book, and sewn in if any further copies of the book were printed.' Note on Box 1, Folder 025 (letters exchanged between Jack Smart, Ullin T. Place, Brian Medlin, Jim Franklin, David Armstrong) held in the Brian Medlin Collection at the Library of Flinders University, Adelaide, South Australia.
[References] [5 citing publications] [4 referring publications by Place]
Download: 1999a Ryle's Behaviorism.pdf
Place, U. T. (1999b). Intentionality and the physical - a reply to Mumford. Philosophical Quarterly, 49, 225-231. doi:10.1111/1467-9213.00139
[Abstract]Martin and Pfeifer (1986) claim "that the most typical characterizations of intentionality" proposed by philosophers are satisfied by physical dispositions. If that is correct, we must conclude either, as they and Mumford do, that the philosophers are wrong and intentionality is something else or, as I do, that intentionality is what the philosophers say it is, in which case it is the mark, not of the mental, but of the dispositional. To my contention that the intentionality of a disposition consists in its being directed towards its future manifestations Mumford objects that the notion of directedness is obscure and cannot in the light of Martin's (1994) argument be elucidated by reference to what would happen if the conditions for its manifestation are satisfied. But Martin's argument rests on the mistaken assumption that causal conditionals of which dispositional ascriptions are an instance are of the form 'If p then q'.
[References] [Is reply to] [5 citing publications] [2 referring publications by Place]
Download: 1999b Intentionality and the Physical - A Reply to Mumford.pdf
Place, U. T. (1999e). Token- versus type-identity physicalism. Anthropology and Philosophy, 3(2), 21-31.
[Abstract]The observation that identity is a relation between two names or descriptions which refer to the same individual (token-identity) or the same kind or class of things (type-identity) suggests that, unless the descriptions in question are specified, physicalism, understood as the claim that every mentally specified state or process is identical with some physically specified state or process, is empty hand-waving. It can be argued on behalf of the type-identity physicalist that future psycho-physiological research will allow us to specify which types of mentally-specified states or processes are identical with which physically-specified states or processes. No such possibility can be envisaged if token-identity physicalism (Davidson 1970/1980) is true. Consequently, the case for token-identity physicalism must rest on an a priori argument. But the argument which Davidson offers is inconclusive. Token-identity physicalism is, therefore, in serious danger of being side-lined, should evidence supporting the stronger type-identity thesis be forthcoming.
[References] [5 citing publications] [1 reprinting collections]
Download: 1999e Token- versus Type-Identity Physicalism.pdf
Place, U. T. (1999g). Intentionality naturalized: dispositions and quotations [Unpublished paper].
[Abstract]Martin and Pfeifer have argued that physical dispositions satisfy all the accepted masks of intentionality. My own researches suggest the following conclusions: 1. ‘Intentionality’ means whatever the accepted marks make it mean. 2. Hence, if Martin and Pfeifer are right, intentionality is the mark, not of the mental, but of the dispositional. 3. We need to distinguish intentionality, as described by Brentano, Anscombe and Searle's “intentionality-with-a-t” which is the mark of the dispositional from Frege's “indirect reference", Quine’s “referential opacity”, Geach's “non-Shakespearianity” and Searle’s “intensionality-with-an-s” which is the mark of a quotation.
Download: 1999g Intentionality Naturalized - Dispositions and Quotations.pdf
Place, U. T. (1999h). The picture theory of meaning: A rehabilation [Conference presentation; presented to the IUC Conference on Epistemology, Bled, Slovenia, 31st May - June 5th 1999].
[Abstract]I argue the case for a rehabilitation of the "picture theory" of the meaning of sentences expounded by Wittgenstein (1921/1971) in the Tractatus, but abandoned by him in moving from his earlier to his later philosophy. This rehabilitation requires the replacement of 'facts' as the objects which sentences depict by 'situations' (Barwise and Perry 1983) and the recognition that the situation depicted by a sentence is an "intentional object" (Brentano 1871/1995). It also implies a different view of the way his sense (Sinn)/reference (Bedeutung) distinction should be applied to the meaning of sentences from that maintained by Frege (1892/1960) himself. Such a theory opens the door to a thorough-going empiricist theory of the acquisition of both concepts and sentence structure.
Keywords: picture theory of meaning
Download: 1999h The Picture Theory of Meaning - A Rehabilitation.pdf
Place, U. T. (2000a). Consciousness and the zombie-within: a functional analysis of the blindsight evidence. In Y. Rossetti, & A. Revonsuo (Eds.), Beyond dissociations: Interaction between dissociated implicit and explicit processing (pp. 295-329). John Benjamins. doi:10.1075/aicr.22.15pla
[Abstract]Cowey & Stoerig's (1995) demonstration that the phenomenon of blindsight applies to monkeys with striate cortical lesions in the same way as it does to humans with similar lesions makes it plausible to argue that the behaviour of mammals and probably that of other vertebrates is controlled by two distinct but closely interdependent and interacting systems in the brain which I shall refer to respectively as 'consciousness' and the 'sub-conscious automatic pilot or "zombie" within'. On this hypothesis, consciousness has three functions, (a) that of categorizing any input that is problematic in that it is either unexpected or significant relative to the individual's current or perennial motivational concerns, (b) that of selecting a response appropriate both to the presence of a thing of that kind and to the individual's motivational concerns with respect to it, and (c) that of monitoring the execution of that response. Conscious/phenomenal experience, on this view, is the first stage in the process whereby problematic inputs are processed by consciousness. Its function is to modify the figure-ground relations within the central representation of a problematic input until an adequate categorization is selected. The sub-conscious automatic pilot or “zombie-within” has two functions (a) that of continuously scanning the total current input and alerting consciousness to any input it identifies as problematic, (b) that of protecting consciousness from overload either by ignoring those non-problematic inputs which require no response or by responding appropriately but automatically to those for which there already exists a well practised skill or other “instinctive” response pattern.
[References] [Talks] [3 citing publications] [5 referring publications by Place] [1 reprinting collections]
Download: 2000a Consciousness and the Zombie-within a Functional Analysis of the Blindsight Evidence.pdf
Place, U. T. (2000b). The causal potency of qualia: Its nature and its source. Brain and Mind, 1, 183-192. doi:10.1023/A:1010023129393
[Abstract]There is an argument (Medlin, 1967; Place, 1988) which shows conclusively that if qualia are causally impotent we could have no possible grounds for believing that they exist. But if, as this argument shows, qualia are causally potent with respect to the descriptions we give of them, it is tolerably certain that they are causally potent in other more biologically significant respects. The empirical evidence, from studies of the effect of lesions of the striate cortex (Humphrey, 1974; Weiskrantz, 1986; Cowey and Stoerig, 1995) shows that what is missing in the absence of visual qualia is the ability to categorize sensory inputs in the visual modality. This would suggest that the function of private experience is to supply what Broadbent (1971) calls the “evidence” on which the categorization of problematic sensory inputs are based. At the same time analysis of the causal relation shows that what differentiates a causal relation from an accidental spatio-temporal conjunction is the existence of reciprocally related dispositional properties of the entities involved which combine to make it true that if one member of the conjunction, the cause, had not existed, the other, the effect, would not have existed. The possibility that qualia might be dispositional properties of experiences which, as it were, supply the invisible “glue” that sticks cause to effect in this case is examined, but finally rejected.
[References] [Talks] [3 citing publications] [1 reprinting collections]
Download: 2000b The Causal Potency of Qualia.pdf
Place, U. T. (2000d). The two-factor theory of the mind-brain relation. Brain and Mind, 1, 29-43. doi:10.1023/A:1010087621727
[Abstract]The analysis of mental concepts suggests that the distinction between the mental and the nonmental is not ontologically fundamental, and that, whereas mental processes are one and the same things as the brain processes with which they are correlated, dispositional mental states depend causally on and are, thus, "distinct existences" from the states of the brain microstructure with which 'they' are correlated. It is argued that this difference in the relation between an entity and its composition/underlying structure applies across the board. All stuffs and processes are the same thing as is described by a description of their microstructure. In all cases where the manifestation of a disposition extends beyond the "skin" of the dispositional property bearer, dispositions invariably depend causally on the structure, usually the microstructure, of the bearer.
[References] [2 citing publications] [1 referring publications by Place] [1 reprinting collections]
Download: 2000d The Two Factor-Theory of the Mind-Brain Relation.pdf
Place, U. T. (2000f). Identity theories. In M. Nani, & M. Maraffa (Eds.), A Field Guide to the Philosophy of Mind. Roma Tre University. Retrieved Februari 9, 2019, from http://host.uniroma3.it/progetti/kant/field/mbit.htm
[References] [3 citing publications]
Download: 2000f Theories of Mind.pdf
Place, U. T. (2002). A pilgrim's progress? From mystical experience to biological consciousness. Journal of Consciousness Studies, 9(3), 34-52. www.ingentaconnect.com/content/imp/jcs/2002/00000009/00000003/1261
[Abstract]Ullin Thomas Place died on 2nd January 2000 at the age of seventy-five. I had met him a little over three years earlier, in November 1996, during the annual 'Mind and Brain' symposium organized by Peter Fenwick and held at the Institute of Psychiatry in London. At that meeting Professor Place delivered a slightly shortened version of the paper reproduced here, in which he told his personal story — a pilgrim's progress? — recounting, as he put it, 'the history of a thought process leading from an adolescent interest in mystical experience to an article entitled 'Is consciousness a brain process?' [Place, 1956] in which I argued for an affirmative answer to that question'. [Abstract by Anthony Freedom]
[References] [Related] [1 citing publications]
Download: 2002 A Pilgrim's Progress.pdf
Place, U. T. (2004). From mystical experience to biological consciousness. A pilgrim's progress? In G. Graham, & E.R. Valentine (Eds.), Identifying the mind: Selected papers of U. T. Place (pp. 14-29). Oxford University Press.
[Abstract]I recount the history of a thought process leading from an adolescent interest in mystical experience to an article entitled 'Is consciousness a brain process?' in which I argued for an affirmative answer to that question. For the first time in recent history the materialist thesis was presented in a form in which it could withstand what had previously been regarded as decisive philosophical objections. The paper contains a critique of the "phenomenological fallacy" in which I draw attention to how little we can really say about the properties of our private experiences. This argument owes much to the insistence of the mystics on the inadequacy of words to describe their experiences.
This paper is published with minor editorial changes and without the abstract and the appendix in G. Graham and E. R. Valentine (Eds.) (2004). Identifying the Mind: Selected Papers of U. T. Place (pp. 14-29). Oxford University Press,. The paper was already finished in 1996. A shortened version was presented to the Mind and Brain symposium, organized by Dr. Peter Fenwick at the Institute of Psychiatry, London, in November 1996 and to the Eleventh Annual Conference of the British Psychological Society, History and Philosophy Section, York, March 1997. It was published under a different title and edited by Anthony Freeman including an editorial introduction and footnotes as Place, U. T. (2002). A pilgrim’s progress? Journal of Consciousness Studies. 9(3), 34-52.
[References] [Related] [Talks] [2 citing publications] [1 reprinting collections]
Download: 2004 From Mystical Experience to Biological Consciousness.pdf
Place, U. T., & Wheeler Vega, J. A. (1999). An anticipation of reversal theory within a conceptual-analytic and behaviorist perspective [Conference presentation, presented by the second author at the 9th International Conference on Reversal Theory, June 28 - July 2]. University of Windsor, Ontario, Canada.
[Abstract]Michael Apter denies that behaviorism can provide an adequate account of human action, referring to it in one place as "a kind of methodological vandalism" (Apter, 1989, p. 2). It is the purpose of this paper to show how the first author came, as a behaviorist and analytic philosopher, to a position that anticipates reversal theory to a surprising extent. The basis of this position is an analysis of polar statements concerning 'wanting': 'X wants O', and 'X does not want O'. These sentences imply a number of corollaries. For example, if 'X wants O', then: 'X will be pleased if O appears', 'X will be worried if it looks as if O will not appear', and 'X will be angry or miserable if O fails to appear'. Contrasting entailments follow ‘X does not want O'. These implications display the relationship between the motivational concepts of 'wanting' and 'not wanting', and emotion concepts such as being pleased, worried, angry, miserable, &c. This set of reciprocally related entailments provide, it will be argued, the conceptual foundation of reversal theory. This analysis led the first author to develop a behavioral theory of emotion, in which the various emotions can be located on two dimensions (after Myers, 1923): 'pleasant/unpleasant', and 'high-arousal/low-arousal'. Emotions are distinguished by reference to a third variable: a characteristic 'impulse' appropriate to the type of contingency in which the emotion in question is evoked. The notions of 'wanting' and 'not wanting' are defined, in the language of operant psychology, as differences in the reinforcing effect of actual and potential stimuli with respect to actual and potential operant responses by the organism. Some illustrative clinical and experimental applications of the theory by the first author, in the 1960's, are outlined.
[References] [Talks] [1 referring publications by Place]
Download: Place & Wheeler Vega (1999) An Anticipation of Reversal Theory within a Conceptual Analytic and Behaviorist Perspective.pdf