In this book, Robert Sokolowski argues that being a person means to be involved with truth. He shows that human reason is established by syntactic composition in language, pictures, and actions and that we understand things when they are presented to us through syntax. Sokolowski highlights the role of the spoken word in human reason and examines the bodily and neurological basis for human experience. Drawing on Husserl and Aristotle, as well as Aquinas and Henry James, Sokolowski here employs phenomenology in a highly original way in order to clarify what we are as human agents.
Robert Sokolowski is the Elizabeth Breckenridge Caldwell Professor of Philosophy at The Catholic University of America. Twice awarded research fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, he has also served as a consultant at the Los Alamos National Laboratory and gave the 26th J. Robert Oppenheimer Lecture there in 1996. He has also served as visiting professor at the Graduate Faculty of the New School University; the University of Texas, Austin; Villanova; and Yale University. Dr Sokolowski is the author of many books, including Introduction to Phenomenology, Moral Action, The God of Faith and Reason, Presence and Absence, and Husserlian Meditations.
Part I. The Form of Thinking: 1. Two ways of saying 'I'; 2. Further kinds of declaratives; 3. Linguistic syntax and human reason; 4. The person as the agent of syntax: predication; 5. Reason as public: quotation; 6. Grammatical signals and veracity; Part II. The Content of Thinking: 7. The content of what is said: essentials and accidentals; 8. Properties and accidents reveal what things are; 9. Knowing things in their absence: pictures, imagination, and words; 10. Mental representations; 11. What is a concept and how do we focus on it?; Part III. The Body and Human Action: 12. The body and the brain; 13. Active perception and declaratives; 14. Mental images and lenses; 15. Forms of wishing; 16. Declaring our wishes and choices; Part IV. Ancients and Moderns: 17. Aristotle; 18. Thomas Aquinas; 19. Conclusion, with Henry James.