Introduction to Philosophy: Philosophy of Mind
Copyright Year: 2019
ISBN 13: 9781989014073
Publisher: Rebus Community
Conditions of Use
This multi-author overview of the philosophy of mind covers all of the central topics that show up in a standard undergraduate course in the philosophy of mind. These include substantive discussions of substance and property dualism,... read more
This multi-author overview of the philosophy of mind covers all of the central topics that show up in a standard undergraduate course in the philosophy of mind. These include substantive discussions of substance and property dualism, functionalism, various forms of materialism, behaviorism, and eliminative materialism. Coverage of other key topics, like the nature of qualia, mental content, and freedom of the will are also included.
The authors do a good job capturing the nature of the key debates in the philosophy of mind, the accompanying arguments in support of the most prominent positions on those debates, and some of the standard objections to those arguments. There are also useful references to the works of some of the key contemporary philosophers of mind.
The topics in this book are well chosen. Each focuses on a key perennial topic in the philosophy of mind. And many include helpful references to work done before the 20th century.
Almost all of the chapters are clearly written and well organized. Readers won’t have any trouble learning from these chapters.
Each chapter is internally consistent and the work is also consistent across chapters.
This book neatly divides into appropriate chapters on eight key topics in contemporary philosophy of mind. Each chapter is usefully divided into an introduction, the main subsections, and a conclusion. Each chapter also includes references and a helpful list of further reading.
The book helpfully begins with two chapters that look at positions at opposite ends of the spectrum on the issue of the metaphysics of mental states: Chapter 1 begins at one end with substance dualism; and Chapter 2 takes the reader to the other end with an overview of materialism and behaviorism. These are followed by chapters on nuanced intermediate positions: Chapter 3 is on functionalism and Chapter 4 is on property dualism. Chapters 5 and 6 take a closer look at disputes regarding qualia and consciousness. The book ends with two very helpful chapters, Chapters 7 on concepts and content, and Chapter 8 on the free will debate.
Each chapter is usefully divided into an introduction, the main subsections, and a conclusion. Each chapter also includes references and a helpful list of further reading.
The chapters are well written and free of grammatical errors.
The focus of the book is philosophical reflections on the mind that have arisen out of the western European tradition. Importantly, scientific culture is central to many of the discussions in the book – specifically reflections on how our scientific knowledge of such things as the brain, human behavior, and causation should inform our understanding of the human mind are included.
This text will help readers gain a better understanding of the central debates in contemporary philosophy of mind. And teachers of philosophy of mind courses will find many of the chapters useful as assigned readings.
The book ignores current work in Cognitive Science. This work has a large impact on the discourse about Philosophy of Mind. Book does not have an index or glossary. read more
The book ignores current work in Cognitive Science. This work has a large impact on the discourse about Philosophy of Mind. Book does not have an index or glossary.
In the areas it covered it did a good job. I would caution that when it discussed Functionalism I was expecting William James' pragmatism based on the title but in reading the chapter they spoke of something completely different. I would have chosen a different chapter title.
Again there is the issue of ignoring Cognitive Science. I also think they will soon have to include AI and this will be more difficult in that I think it would have to be both a separate chapter as well as being included in several chapters (e.g. Chapters 3&4)
This is clear for someone with at least some knowledge of the structure of Philosophical argument. For example, it presents arguments based on limiting assumptions (e.g., conservation of energy in Chap 4) while acknowledging that this limitation has been challenged in contemporary physics. Or setting the limit of 'common sense' even though this is a very weak argument. So the issue is that these parameters are presented as more effective than they are.
Overall there is consistency within the chapters but there is some variance between chapters. This variance is somewhat in terminology but more in terms of chapter organization, Neither of these are a real issue.
The chapters are organized so that sections can largely stand alone and each chapter can largely stand alone. There is some self-reference between chapters but they stand without this.
Ther early part of the text follows a logical topic development. This breaks down in the last few chapters.
This is a straight PDF (or at least what I read) so the topic of interface is irrelevant. Text & the few images are clear.
No error I am aware of.
I am an 'old white man' so may not be the most sensitive but I found no issues with this.
I would have liked some of the arguments to have more of a framework.
Table of Contents
- 1. Substance Dualism in Descartes
- 2. Materialism and Behaviorism
- 3. Functionalism
- 4. Property Dualism
- 5. Qualia and Raw Feels
- 6. Consciousness
- 7. Concepts and Content
- 8. Freedom of the Will
About the Book
Introduction to Philosophy: Philosophy of Mind surveys the central themes in philosophy of mind and places them in a historical and contemporary context intended to engage first-time readers in the field. It focuses on debates about the status and character of the mind and its seemingly subjective nature in an apparently more objective world.
About the Contributors
Eran Asoulin, Paul Richard Blum, Tony Cheng, Daniel Haas, Jason Newman, Henry Shevlin, Elly Vintiadis, Heather Salazar (Editor), and Christina Hendricks (Series Editor)
Heather Salazar and Christina Hendricks