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This conclusion that an object, or its qualities, cannot be constituted by the relations that it has – had several interesting implications for Anderson’s philosophy of mind. Firstly, in terms of his epistemological theory, it implied that ‘consciousness’ – understood as both a quality of mind and a relation that mind has – cannot exist. There is, in brief, no such thing as ‘consciousness’. Further, since being conscious is a relation, then what is conscious must be some other quality of mind and since volition or will is also a relation, then it cannot be the required quality of mind. For Anderson, the only possible quality of mind that could be aware or conscious of the things around it, had to be emotion, feeling, or affect. It is emotions which know and it is emotions which act. This is Anderson’s theory of ‘mind as feeling’. This view appears to square with at least two important facts we know about the mind from Freudian psychoanalytic theory: firstly, that the mind, while unconscious, that is, asleep, can be active, for example, dreaming; secondly, that while the mind is conscious, there can be conflicting emotions operating at the same time and this can account for such mental features as slips of the tongue – one emotion is conscious in wanting to say something, but another emotion actually says what it needs to. While such a theory appears to be quite suggestive as a Realist theory of mind, it is unfortunate that Anderson never developed a detailed theory of which emotions constitute mind and how they operate.


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