An Introduction to the Philosophy of Mind

An Introduction to the Philosophy of Mind

An Introduction to the Philosophy of Mind

An Introduction to the Philosophy of Mind

Synopsis

E. J. Lowe offers a lucid and wide-ranging introduction to the philosophy of mind. Using a problem-centered approach designed to stimulate as well as instruct, he begins with a general examination of the mind-body problem and moves on to more specific issues including perception, rationality, action and self-knowledge. His discussion is distinctive in giving equal attention to deep metaphysical questions concerning the mind and to the discoveries and theories of modern scientific psychology. It will be of interest to any reader with a basic grounding in modern philosophy.

Excerpt

At a time when many introductory books on the philosophy of mind are available, it would be fair to ask me why I have written another one. I have at least two answers to this question. One is that some of the more recent introductions to this subject have been rather narrow in their focus, tending to concentrate upon the many different 'isms' that have emerged of late - reductionism, functionalism, eliminativism, instrumentalism, non-reductive physicalism and so forth, all of them divisible into further sub-varieties. Another is that I am disturbed by the growing tendency to present the subject in a quasi-scientific way, as though the only proper role for philosophers of mind is to act as junior partners within the wider community of 'cognitive scientists'. It may be true that philosophers of an earlier generation were unduly dismissive - and, indeed, ignorant - of empirical psychology and neuroscience, but now there is a danger that the pendulum has swung too far in the opposite direction.

Perhaps it will be thought that my two answers are in conflict with one another, inasmuch as the current obsession with the different 'isms' does at least appear to indicate an interest in the metaphysics of mind, a distinctly philosophical enterprise. But there is no real conflict here, because much of the so-called 'metaphysics' in contemporary philosophy of mind is really rather lightweight, often having only a tenuous relation to serious foundational work in ontology. in fact, most of the current 'isms' in the philosophy of mind are generated by the need felt by their advocates to propound and justify a broadly physicalist account of the mind and its capaxi . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.