Mind: A Brief Introduction (Fundamentals of Philosophy Series)

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9780195157345: Mind: A Brief Introduction (Fundamentals of Philosophy Series)

"The philosophy of mind is unique among contemporary philosophical subjects," writes John Searle, "in that all of the most famous and influential theories are false." One of the world's most eminent thinkers, Searle dismantles these theories as he presents a vividly written, comprehensive introduction to the mind. He begins with a look at the twelve problems of philosophy of mind--which he calls "Descartes and Other Disasters"--problems which he returns to throughout the volume, as he illuminates such topics as materialism, consciousness, the mind-body problem, intentionality, mental causation, free will, and the self. The book offers a refreshingly direct and engaging introduction to one of the most intriguing areas of philosophy.

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About the Author:

John Searle is at University of California, Berkeley.

From Scientific American:

Many of the most time-honored questions in philosophy center on how to analyze and understand the essence of the mind. What motivates us? What makes us conscious? What makes us ourselves? In Mind: A Brief Introduction, Searle aims to introduce the reader to the historical aspects of the philosophy of mind, deconstruct existing theories, and offer new perspectives using logic, personal experiences and cases from neuroscience and psychology research. The opening chapters provide an engaging, easy-to-follow primer. Searle, a professor of philosophy at the University of California at Berkeley, discusses how the work of Descartes and dualism—the idea that mind and body are separate—have colored and discolored the way we define the mind. Searle also examines subsets of monism and materialism, disciplines of thinking that run counter to dualism and became increasingly influential in the 20th century. Searle explains such theories not merely to educate readers but to systematically point out problems in their arguments, then build his proposed philosophy of mind from the debris. He is even-handed, however, admitting that past theories have elements of truth. Searle then sets out to reconcile these beliefs by rethinking specific aspects of the mind, including consciousness, causation and free will. He sharply shows readers his method of analyzing these concepts by applying them to observations of everyday experiences, such as thoughts about his dog. Searle then guides the discussion toward deeper meaning, extrapolating his sensory experience to an internal reflection and logical argument of what his observation says about mental processes. These dialogues eventually flesh out his perspective on the brain versus mind debate. Along the way, Searle ties in examples from neuroscience and psychology to accentuate his ideas, but the book speaks best to readers who want to approach the mind from a primarily philosophical perspective. He fulfills his stated intent of aiding the reader in beginning his or her own reflections on the mind. The historical reviews, coupled with Searle’s own research and perspectives, provide an excellent starting point.

Nicole Garbarini

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John Searle
Verlag: Oxford University Press Sep 2005 (2005)
ISBN 10: 0195157346 ISBN 13: 9780195157345
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Buchbeschreibung Oxford University Press Sep 2005, 2005. Taschenbuch. Buchzustand: Neu. Neuware - 'The philosophy of mind is unique among contemporary philosophical subjects,' writes John Searle, 'in that all of the most famous and influential theories are false.' One of the world's most eminent thinkers, Searle dismantles these theories as he presents a vividly written, comprehensive introduction to the mind. He begins with a look at the twelve problems of philosophy of mind-which he calls 'Descartes and Other Disasters'-problems which he returns to throughout the volume, as he illuminates such topics as materialism, consciousness, the mind-body problem, intentionality, mental causation, free will, and the self. The book offers a refreshingly direct and engaging introduction to one of the most intriguing areas of philosophy. 224 pp. Englisch. Artikel-Nr. 9780195157345

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