Matter and Sense: A Critique of Contemporary Materialism

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The assumption of materialism (in its many forms) Howard Robinson believes is false. In his book he presents a very forceful critique of the modern forms that materialism has taken. In telling discussions of the theory of supervenience put forward by Davidson and Peacocke, the central state materialism attributable to Smart, Armstrong and others, Putnam's functionalism, and Rorty's disappearance theory, he shows that, whatever their local inconsistencies, these forms of materialism all overlook or quite inadequately explain elementary and unimpeachable intuitions about our own mental experiences. Robinson concludes with a consideration of the alternative views of the matter of which the mind is held to consist. These arguments will either serve to crystallise for the most part inchoate opposition to materialism among a number of philosophers, and will challenge its proponents to find a more secure defence for the basis of their view.
 

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Contents

Supervenience and reduction
20
Resume
28
Behaviourism and stimulus materialism
35
The causal theory of mind
51
The disappearance theory
79
Reductive theories of perception
95
turning the tables
108
Conclusion
124
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