Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Mindfucking

The latest book by the toughest, hardestcore philosopher in the world, Colin McGinn, is titled Mindfucking.

Those of you who don't know McGinn from his view that humans can no more explain consciousness than monkeys can explain algebra might know him from the pissing-match resulting from the painfully frank and utterly relentless book review he wrote some months back. (The review begins with the following sentences: This book runs the full gamut from the mediocre to the ludicrous to the merely bad. It is painful to read, poorly thought out, and uninformed. It is also radically inconsistent. )

In any case, there's no information about Mindfucking on Amazon. Does anyone know what this book is about? If I read it, will McGinn fuck my mind?

17 comments:

mr. tickle said...

I like this guys blog.

I might need to read this book myself.

Could he hand your head to you?

Spiros said...

Read it and report back with deets.

I'll fight anybody.

729 said...

I've never liked McGinn's "argument from stupidity" re consciousness. I think it "flies" (for those it convinces) for reasons that are weird. For instance, in another area of specialization, say , an argument that people are simply insufficiently rational, and can never be rational enough, to support deliberative democracy, would be met at best as a case about implementation, but not a blow to the theory. Something seems amiss about generalizing about the (empirical) status of human intelligence in the context of theoretically modeling research agendas so as to undermine them.

In any case, I'm glad to hear that McGinn has reached the status where he can publish a book with the title Mindfucking. He's raised the ante considerably since Harry Frankfurt's Bullshit. I'm looking forward to see what the next player puts forward. Let the games begin!

Spiros said...

729:

Well put. The Mysterian program is not convincing to me at all. I don't think c-ness is cognitively closed to humans, because I don't think there's c-ness in the first place. The Churchlands rule!!!!

You pose a good challenge in upping further the ante. I think the next logical step from *Mindfucking* is *Mindassfucking*.

ass only from day one said...

What about *Up, In, and Up In Mindassfucking*?

Anonymous said...

Spiros:

I've seen people use Frankfurt's On Bullshit in their Intro. course. Would it be too much to use On Bullshit and Mindfucking in an Intro. course? Could you imagine a parent's response to seeing the reading list for their daughter's Introduction to Philosophy course?

Anonymous said...

details about McGinn's new book.

"Being surrounded by bullshit is one thing. Having your mind fucked is quite another. The former is irritating, but the latter is violating and intrusive (unless you give your consent). If someone manipulates your thoughts and emotions, messing with your head, you naturally feel resentment: he or she has distorted your perceptions, disturbed your feelings, maybe even usurped your self. Mindfucking is a prevalent aspect of contemporary culture and the agent can range from an individual to a whole state, from personal mind games to wholesale propaganda.In "Mindfucking", Colin McGinn investigates and clarifies this phenomenon, taking in the ancient Greeks, Shakespeare and modern techniques of thought control. McGinn assembles the conceptual components of this most complex of concepts - trust, deception, emotion, manipulation, false belief, vulnerability - and explores its very nature. Is philosophy, as a discipline, a type of mindfuck, asks McGinn? Is romantic love a species of mindfuck? The essence is psychological upheaval or disorientation, often abetted by the weaknesses of the victim. Jealousy, insecurity and prejudice can aid the mindfuck. Delusion is the general result, sometimes insanity. How mindfucked are you? It's hard to say from the inside, but being aware of the phenomenon offers at least some protection."

the hat said...

Spiros:

Ordered Book.

Spiros said...

Day one:

Good suggestion. I think that after *Mindassfucking*, we'd have to go with *Mindmanonboyassfucking*

Spiros said...

Anon:

Indeed! Perhaps I'll try to work both titles into my Fall course....

Spiros said...

Anon:

Thanks for the info on the book. Actually looks interesting, despite the ready-made-controversy title.

Spiros said...

Hat:

Will do the same...

spiros teachings said...

Spiros:

Book just arrived.

Baby Blue cover? Might have just lost any credibility.

Spiros said...

The color of the cover is itself a mindfuck?

Santa said...

Spiros: Colour of the book cover is probably the result of some marketing pinhead and the art director rejecting another more advanced cover art concept: a "none more black" background with a stainless steel dildo skewering a cadaver brain with just the author's name below the image. Probably would have not worked for the Barnes & Noble college buyers.

Is it worth picking up?

Spiros said...

Santa,

Agreed. I have not yet picked up the book. It might be good, though.

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