Philosophy of Mind A-Z

Philosophy of Mind A-Z

Philosophy of Mind A-Z

Philosophy of Mind A-Z

Synopsis

A comprehensive guide to the main positions, debates, key figures and problems as well as important terms in the philosophy of mind. Philosophy of Mind A-Z contains entries on historical and contemporary key figures, explaining the importance of the longstanding debates and how the contemporary field has been shaped. It covers both traditional and current topics, and even those topics that are only beginning to emerge. It includes a wide range of philosophy of mind, from Plato and Leibniz to externalism and the frame problem, from Husserl to neural Darwinism, from mental causation to the problem of consciousness. All of these issues are explained in compact clearly written entries where difficult topics are introduced with the help of numerous examples. Philosophy of Mind A-Z is a reliable and friendly guide for anyone studying philosophy of mind or cognitive science, or simply interested in the many sides and facets of our mental life.

Excerpt

The philosophy of mind is one of those areas of philosophy that has a close connection with science. The precise nature of that connection is unclear, though, and we tend to think that abstract issues in philosophy are independent of scientific developments and discoveries. Yet the progress that takes place in the understanding of the nature of the mind on a scientific level clearly has an impact on the philosophical discussion, not in the sense of coming down on one rather than on another side of an argument, but because science continues to frame the arguments in different ways. The familiar problems such as how the body and the mind are connected, and what is meant by consciousness, for example, are often now articulated in terms of contemporary scientific understandings of the mind and action. The very modern issue of how far we can talk of machines thinking is a good example of how the nature of the mind and what it means to be a thinking thing resonates through the centuries to become particularly acute in an age that is familiar with artificial intelligence. Almost all the major philosophers had something, usually a great deal, to say on the philosophy of mind, and their positions have been briefly but accurately outlined in this book. Philosophy of mind has today become one of the most difficult areas of philosophy with a technical vocabulary of its own, perhaps due to its links with . . .

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