Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Show Summary Details
More options …

Open Philosophy

Editor-in-Chief: Harman, Graham

Covered by:
DOAJ - Directory of Open Access Journals

Open Access
See all formats and pricing
More options …

Reading Problems: Literacy and the Dynamics of Thought

Jeffrey A. Bell
Published Online: 2018-10-23 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/opphil-2018-0016


In this article, we address the problem of predication, or the problem of connecting conceptual predicates to the sets of properties and attributes that correspond to these predicates. We take as our starting point Mark Wilson’s work, especially “Predicate meets Property,” and add to it a metaphysics of problems that one finds in the work of Gilles Deleuze. This enables us to understand the relationship between a predicate and the set of properties in terms of the relationship between a solution to a problem. The advantage of this approach is that it helps to illuminate the key issues involved in contemporary work on human reasoning. We sketch some of these advantages by looking to recent work on literacy and how literacy affects the capacity to engage in formal reasoning.

Keywords: predication; human reasoning; literacy; metaphysics of indeterminacy; Deleuze


  • Bell, Jeffrey. Deleuze’s Hume: Philosophy, Culture and the Scottish Enlightenment. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2009.Google Scholar

  • Chang, Hasok. Inventing Temperature: Mearsurement and Scientific Progress. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004.Google Scholar

  • Davidson, Donald. Truth and Predication. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2005.Google Scholar

  • Deleuze, Gilles. Difference and Repetition. Translated by Paul Patton. New York: Columbia University Press, 1994.Google Scholar

  • Deleuze, Gilles and Félix Guattari. What is Philosophy? New York: Columbia University Press, 1995.Google Scholar

  • Foucault, Michel. The Archaeology of Knowledge. New York: Random House, 1972.Google Scholar

  • Foucault, Michel. The Order of Things. New York: Vintage Books, 1973.Google Scholar

  • Frege, Gottlob. The Frege Reader. Oxford: Basil Blackwell Publishers, 1997.Google Scholar

  • Glick, James. “Cognitive development in cross-cultural perspective.” in Review of child development research, edited by J. Horowitz. Chicago: Chicago University Press, 1975.Google Scholar

  • Latour, Bruno. “On the Partial Existence of Existing and Nonexisting Objects.” In Biographies of Scientific Objects, edited byGoogle Scholar

  • Lorraine Daston. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000, 247-69.Google Scholar

  • Latour, Bruno, and Shirley S. Strum. “Redefining the social link - from baboons to humans.” Social Science Information 26(4): 783-802, 1987.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Liberman, Kenneth. More Studies in Ethnomethodology. Albany: State University of New York Press, 2013.Google Scholar

  • Luria, Alexander R. Cognitive Development: its cultural and social foundations. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1976.Google Scholar

  • Scribner, Sylvia. “Modes of thinking and ways of speaking: culture and logic reconsidered.” In Thinking: Readings in Cognitive Science. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1977, 483-500.Google Scholar

  • Stenning, Keith, and Michiel van Lambalgen. Human Reasoning and Cognitive Science. Cambridge, Mass.: The MIT Press, 2008.Google Scholar

  • Stewart, Dugald. Elements of the philosophy of the human mind. London: Printed for Andrew Strahan, and Thomas Cadell; and William Creech, Edinburgh, 1792.Google Scholar

  • Wilson, Jessica M. “Non-reductive Realization and the Powers-based Subset Strategy.” The Monist (Issue on Powers) 94(1): 121-54, 2011.Google Scholar

  • Wilson, Jessica M. “Fundamental Determinables.” Philosophers’ Imprint 12(4), 2012.Google Scholar

  • Wilson, Jessica M. “A determinable-based account of metaphysical indeterminacy.” Inquiry, 2013.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Wilson, Mark. “Predicate Meets Property.” The Philosophical Review 91(4): 549-89, 1982.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Wilson, Mark. “This Thing Called Pain.” Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 66(3-4): 227-67, 1985.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Wilson, Mark. Wandering Significance: an essay on conceptual behavior. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006.Google Scholar

About the article

Received: 2018-06-12

Accepted: 2018-07-31

Published Online: 2018-10-23

Published in Print: 2018-10-01

Citation Information: Open Philosophy, Volume 1, Issue 1, Pages 223–234, ISSN (Online) 2543-8875, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/opphil-2018-0016.

Export Citation

© by Jeffrey A. Bell, published by De Gruyter. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 License. BY-NC-ND 4.0

Comments (0)

Please log in or register to comment.
Log in