The Biological Mind: A Philosophical Introduction

Front Cover
Routledge, 2015 - Philosophy - 197 pages

For some, biology explains all there is to know about the mind. Yet many big questions remain: is the mind shaped by genes or the environment? If mental traits are the result of adaptations built up over thousands of years, as evolutionary psychologists claim, how can such claims be tested? If the mind is a machine, as biologists argue, how does it allow for something as complex as human consciousness?

The Biological Mind: A Philosophical Introduction explores these questions and more, using the philosophy of biology to introduce and assess the nature of the mind. Drawing on the four key themes of evolutionary biology; molecular biology and genetics; neuroscience; and biomedicine and psychiatry Justin Garson addresses the following key topics:

  • moral psychology, altruism and levels of selection
  • evolutionary psychology and modularity
  • genes, environment and the nature-nurture debate
  • neuroscience, reductionism and the relation between biology and free will
  • function, selection and mental representation
  • psychiatric classification and the maladapted mind.

Extensive use of examples and case studies is made throughout the book, and additional features such as chapter summaries, annotated further reading and a glossary make this an indispensable introduction to those teaching philosophy of mind and philosophy of psychology. It will also be an excellent resource for those in related fields such as biology.

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About the author (2015)

Justin Garson is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Hunter College, City University of New York, USA.

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