Within 48 hours of submitting the final manuscript to Oxford, I started thinking of ways that Sensorama could have been improved. A recent book symposium gave me a chance to correct some errors and infelicities. Here, I’ll record other forehead-smacking epiphanies as they occur and I find the time to document them. Most of these are just minor annoyances, but some represent more significant second-thoughts.
Chapter 2, page 41. “Next, we arrange the eight outlying stations so that each of them is equidistant from exactly three other outlying stations…” There’s an ambiguity here. In the stated arrangement, each station S is such that there’s a distance, d, such that there are exactly three stations that lie at a distance of d from S, and another distance, d’, such that there are exactly three stations that lie at a distance of d’ from S. So when I say, a little later, “We label one of the outlying stations N(0,0,0), and the three stations from which it is equidistant N(−1,0,0), N(0,−1,0), and N(0,0,−1), respectively,” the phrase “the three stations from which etc” is improper.
The fix: one of the distances mentioned above is smaller than the other; let’s say it’s d. I should have said: “We label one of the outlying stations N(0,0,0), and the three stations from which it lies at distance d N(−1,0,0), N(0,−1,0), and N(0,0,−1), respectively.”
How did I miss this?
Chapter 6, p. 121. “It is also fairly clear that Kant thinks that things-in-themselves are not mental entities (e.g. minds, or a divine Mind).” Au contraire, it’s fairly clear that Kant does not think that things-in-themselves are not mental entities. The whole point of the noumena is that we can’t possibly know what they are, beyond that they ground appearances. The sources cited in footnote 16 don’t support the claim I made in the text here at all; I have no idea why I thought they did. Sorry Kant.
Chapter 11, p. 195. “A successful phenomenalist analysis of the physical must invoke the concept of a possible belief, and therefore, implicitly, the concept of intentionality.” I no longer think this is true (actually, if you read carefully, you can see that I didn’t even think it was true when I wrote Sensorama). It’s possible to give a phenomenalist analysis of the physical without mentioning intentionality at all. How? Find out in my next book . . .