Mind and Its Place in Nature

Mind and Its Place in Nature

Mind and Its Place in Nature

Mind and Its Place in Nature

Excerpt

This volume contains a theory of the ultimate nature of mind and matter. The theory is a thoroughgoing realism, taking the knowledge composing the physical sciences as literally true of an existing world, and asserting an equally objective reality for minds. It holds that in so far as perception and conception are correct, the data of our experience are the very physical things that surround us in space; and, similarly, that in so far as introspection is veridical, its data are the very events that make up our mental life.

Such a view will at once be contrasted by the reader with the types of realism now most in vogue; for example, with the views of Messrs. Bertrand Russell, Whitehead, Broad, and the American "neorealists." These thinkers usually assume that all sense-data are existents, for which a place must be found in some space external to the body of the perceiver. They differ widely in their conception of the nature of mind, and in their conception of the nature of the relation between sensa and the atoms and electrons of science. These are usually the weakest points in their doctrine. But I wish to meet them on their own chosen ground, and to dispute their theory that sensa are necessarily ex-

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