IDEAS: You think that questions about the mind are at the core of philosophy today, don’t you?
SEARLE: Right. And that’s a big change. If you go back to the 17th century, and Descartes, skepticism — the question of how it is possible to have knowledge — was a live issue for philosophy. That put epistemology — the theory of knowledge — at the heart of philosophy. How can we know? Shouldn’t we seek a foundation for knowledge that overcomes skeptical doubts about it? As recently as a hundred years ago, the central question was still about knowledge. But now, the center of philosophical debate is philosophy of mind.
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