Read The Making of a Philosopher: My Journey Through Twentieth-Century Philosophy by Colin McGinn Free Online
Book Title: The Making of a Philosopher: My Journey Through Twentieth-Century Philosophy|
The author of the book: Colin McGinn
Edition: Harper Perennial
Date of issue: July 8th 2003
ISBN 13: 9780060957605
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 634 KB
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Part memoir, part study, The Making of a Philosopher is the self–portrait of a deeply intelligent mind as it develops over a life on both sides of the Atlantic.
The Making of a Philosopher follows Colin McGinn from his early years in England reading Descartes and Anselm, to his years in the states, first in Los Angeles, then New York. McGinn presents a contemporary academic take on the great philosophical figures of the twentieth century, including Bertrand Russell, Jean–Paul Sartre, and Noam Chomsky, alongside stories of the teachers who informed his ideas and often became friends and mentors, especially the colorful A.J. Ayer at Oxford. McGinn's prose is always elegant and probing; students of contemporary philosophy and the general reader alike will absorb every page.
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Read information about the authorColin McGinn is a British philosopher currently working at the University of Miami. McGinn has also held major teaching positions at Oxford University and Rutgers University. He is best known for his work in the philosophy of mind, though he has written on topics across the breadth of modern philosophy. Chief among his works intended for a general audience is the intellectual memoir The Making of a Philosopher: My Journey Through Twentieth-Century Philosophy (2002).
Colin McGinn was born in Blackpool, England in 1950. He enrolled in Manchester University to study psychology. However, by the time he received his degree in psychology from Manchester in 1971 (by writing a thesis focusing on the ideas of Noam Chomsky), he wanted to study philosophy as a postgraduate. By 1972, McGinn was admitted into Oxford University's B.Litt postgraduate programme, in hopes of eventually gaining entrance into Oxford's postgraduate B.Phil. programme.
McGinn quickly made the transition from psychology to philosophy during his first term at Oxford. After working zealously to make the transition, he was soon admitted into the B.Phil programme under the recommendation of his advisor, Michael R. Ayers. Shortly after entering the philosophy programme, he won the John Locke Prize in 1972. By 1974, McGinn received the B.Phil degree from Oxford, writing a thesis under the supervision of P.F. Strawson, which focused on the semantics of Donald Davidson.
In 1974, McGinn took his first philosophy position at University College London. In January 1980, he spent two semesters at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) as a visiting professor. Then, shortly after declining a job at University of Southern California, he succeeded Gareth Evans as Wilde Reader at Oxford University. In 1988, shortly after a visiting term at City University of New York (CUNY), McGinn received a job offer from Rutgers University. He accepted the offer from Rutgers, joining ranks with, among others, Jerry Fodor in the philosophy department. McGinn stayed at Rutgers until 2006, when he accepted a job offer from University of Miami as full time professor.
Although McGinn has written dozens of articles in philosophical logic, metaphysics, and the philosophy of language, he is best known for his work in the philosophy of mind. In his 1989 article "Can We Solve the Mind-Body Problem?", McGinn speculates that the human mind is innately incapable of comprehending itself entirely, and that this incapacity spawns the puzzles of consciousness that have preoccupied Western philosophy since Descartes. Thus, McGinn's answer to the hard problem of consciousness is that humans cannot find the answer. This position has been nicknamed the "New Mysterianism". The Mysterious Flame: Conscious Minds in a Material World (2000) is a non-technical exposition of McGinn's theory.
Outside of philosophy, McGinn has written a novel entitled The Space Trap (1992). He was also featured prominently as an interviewee in Jonathon Miller's Brief History of Disbelief, a documentary miniseries about atheism's history. He discussed the philosophy of belief as well as his own beliefs as an atheist.