William Rapaport (Buffalo) writes:
We were disappointed that Brian Leiter's survey of "Most Important Anglophone philosophers, 1945-2000: the top 20" omitted Hector-Neri Castaneda (1924-1991). At Leiter's invitation, we submit the following observations on his significance.
Castaneda was Guatemalan by birth and early education. However, his philosophical training at Minnesota and Oxford, his professional affiliations at Wayne State and Indiana, and his numerous publications surely qualify him as anglophone. For his autobiography (parts of which--notably section I.4--could easily be dramatized!), see Castaneda 1986.
We believe that there are philosophers on the poll who do not match Castaneda in influence or insights. He made significant contributions to both philosophy and the profession of philosophy.
His philosophical contributions include his groundbreaking work on:
(1) the private language argument (Castaneda 1967);
(2) reference, in particular, his theories of indexicals and quasi-indexicals (Castaneda 1966; 1977; 1989; 1999, Chs. 1-2);
(3) self-consciousness (Castaneda 1999, Chs. 3-10);
(4) a unified ontology of physical objects and thought contents, notably, his ambitious guise theory of intentionality (Castaneda 1972a, 1989);
(5) the methodology and history of philosophy (especially the ontologies of Plato and Leibniz) (Castaneda 1972b, 1980); and
(6) imperative and deontic logic, on practical and normative reasoning, and on action theory and meta-ethics (see Castaneda 1974, 1976).
Perhaps his most significant contribution to the profession was his founding and editing of Nous, but it should also be remembered that he was a prominent philosopher in the analytic style who came from a socially and economically underprivileged background and thereby became an inspiration to many.
Surveys of his work include Tomberlin 1983 & 1986, Orilia & Rapaport 1998, Rapaport 2005, and Palma 2014.
William J. Rapaport
Associate Professor Emeritus of Computer Science;
Affiliated Faculty Emeritus, Philosophy and Linguistics;
Member Emeritus, Center for Cognitive Science
State University of New York at Buffalo
Written with the assistance of Julio Covarrubias (Washington), Tomis Kapitan (Northern Illinois), Michael McKinsey (Wayne State), Franceso Orilia (Macerata, Italy), and Adriano Palma (Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa).
Castaneda, Hector-Neri (1966), " 'He': A Study in the Logic of Self-Consciousness”, Ratio 8 (1966): 130–157
Castaneda, Hector-Neri (1967), "The Private Language Problem", in P. Edwards (ed.), Encyclopedia of Philosophy (New York: Macmillan and Free Press) 8: 240-247.
Castaneda, Hector-Neri (1972a), "Thinking and the Structure of the World", Philosophia 4 (1974) 3-40; reprinted in 1975 in Critica 6 (1972) 43-86.
Castanda, Hector-Neri (1972b), "Plato's Phaedo Theory of Relations", Journal of Philosophical Logic 1: 467-480.
Castaneda, Hector-Neri (1974), The Structure of Morality (Springfield, IL: Charles C Thomas).
Castaneda, Hector-Neri (1976), Thinking and Doing (Dordrecht, The Netherlands: D. Reidel).
Castaneda, Hector-Neri (1977), "On the Philosophical Foundations of the Theory of Communication: Reference", Midwest Studies in Philosophy 2: 165-186.
Castaneda, Hector-Neri (1980), On Philosophical Method (Bloomington, IN: Nous Publications)
Castaneda, Hector-Neri (1986), "Self-Profile", in Tomberlin 1986, pp. 3--137.
Castaneda, Hector-Neri (1989), Thinking, Language, & Experience (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press).
Castaneda, Hector-Neri (1999), The Phenomeno-Logic of the I: Essays on Self-Consciousness (James G. Hart and Tomis Kapitan, eds.) (Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press).
Orilia, Francesco, & Rapaport, William J. (eds.) (1998), Thought, Language, and Ontology: Essays in Memory of Hector-Neri Castaneda} (Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Publishers).
Palma, Adriano (ed.) (2014), Castaneda and His Guises (Berlin: de Gruyter).
Rapaport, William J. (2005), "Castaneda, Hector Neri", in J.R. Shook (ed.), The Dictionary of Modern American Philosophers (Bristol, UK: Thoemmes Continuum): 452-457.
Tomberlin, James E. (ed.) (1983), Agent, Language, and the Structure of the World (Indianapolis: Hackett).
Tomberlin, James E. (ed.) (1986), Hector-Neri Castaneda (Dordrecht, The Netherlands: D. Reidel).