Endolegomena Loipa: The Forked Animal
In this third lecture, Quine returns to the mentalistic language accompanying perception and wonders to what extent it is physically defensible and respectable. He explains that even at the level of observation sentences we have a device for ascribing perceptual events. There is a bifurcation between physicalistic and mentalistic talk with basic observation sentences as seen in the difference between ‘It is raining’ and ‘Bob perceives that it is raining’. He explains how the relation of perception between humans and objects can fit his physicalistic framework while remaining very disjointed. What holds its disjointed nature together is a trait of a higher order found in the learning process itself. Each class of perceptual events, be they auditory, visual or otherwise, is a class by which a subject can be taught to name the object in question.