Mind: A Brief Introduction

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Oxford University Press, Nov 1, 2004 - Philosophy - 336 pages
5 Reviews
"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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Mind: a brief introduction

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Searle (philosophy, Berkeley) offers a chatty gloss on the traditional arguments for separating the human mind from its biology and his own account of this same mind as occurring as a part of nature ... Read full review

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I used this book to teach a course in the philosophy of human nature and I loved it. Searle touts his brand of philosophy called "biological naturalism": it is the view that all of our conscious states arise from neurobiological processes. The book is also an introduction to the common problems in philosophy of mind. But you better come prepared for a somewhat technical (in some places) discussion of free will, mental causation and the mind-body problem. As usual, however, Searle is crystal-clear in his explanations and arguments. Moreover, he appears to be pretty convincing in his refutations of reductionistic (nothing-but) materialism. This book is informative and a pretty good read.  

Contents

Why I Wrote This Book
1
1 A Dozen Problems in the Philosophy of Mind
9
2 The Turn to Materialism
41
3 Arguments against Materialism
83
Consciousness and the MindBody Problem
107
The Structure of Consciousness and Neurobiology
133
6 Intentionality
159
7 Mental Causation
193
9 The Unconscious and the Explanation of Behavior
237
10 Perception
259
11 The Self
279
Philosophy and the Scientific WorldView
301
Notes
305
Suggestions for Further Reading
313
Index
321
Name Index
325

8 Free Will
215

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About the author (2004)


John R. Searle is Mills Professor in the Department of Philosophy, University of California, Berkeley. He is the author of many books, including The Rediscovery of the Mind, The Mystery of Consciousness, Mind, Language and Society, Philosophy in the Real World, and Consciousness and Language.

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