This introduction revisits a number of Haugeland’s most influential essays and organizes them around five themes: holism about the mental, the dependence of intentionality on sociality; the mind as embodied and extended; the essential normativity of objectivity and truth; and the existential commitment necessary for an authentic life. It demonstrates the centrality and interconnectedness of these themes through a close reading of Haugeland’s magnum opus, “Truth and Rule-Following.” The introduction also discusses the historical influence of these essays in cognitive science, philosophy of mind, philosophy of science, Heidegger studies, and the development of the Pittsburgh School. It aims to encourage re-reading of Haugeland’s most important texts, as well as to compel philosophers to grapple with his guiding belief that giving a damn is at the core of what it means to be human.
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