- Taschenbuch: 280 Seiten
- Verlag: Oneworld Publications; Auflage: Revised ed. (20. Oktober 2006)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 1851684786
- ISBN-13: 978-1851684786
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 13 x 1,4 x 20,2 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: Schreiben Sie die erste Bewertung
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 274.000 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
- Komplettes Inhaltsverzeichnis ansehen
Philosophy of Mind: A Beginner's Guide (Beginner's Guides) (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 20. Oktober 2006
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Charles Taliaferro - Professor of Philosophy, St Olaf College, Minnesota"A splendid, highly accessible and lucid introduction. The arguments are engaging and provide a refreshing challenge to some of the conventional assumptions in the field."David Oderberg - Professor of Philosophy, University of Reading, UK"Tightly written and admirably clear... Fesar covers just the right topics, and does so judiciously and fairly... a refreshing, provocative, and important addition to the introductory books in philosophy of mind. It should appear on every reading list."
In this lively and entertaining introduction to the philosophy of mind, Edward Feser explores the questions central to the discipline; such as 'do computers think', and 'what is consciousness'; and gives an account of all the most important and significant attempts that have been made to answer them.Alle Produktbeschreibungen
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The philosophy of mind is perhaps one of the most interesting areas of philosophy; it is also one of the most difficult because it entails having a considerable understanding of the fields of epistemology (theory of knowledge), metaphysics (study of the nature of reality), philosophy of science, neuroscience, and physics (as you can tell, that is a lot of ground to cover). Feser's book, luckily, is so clear and defines its term so well that even if you have little to no experience with those disciplines, you will still like and understand Feser's book.
At the outset, Feser points out that materialism (the view that the world and things in it can be explained in scientific terms) is the dominant view in philosophy generally and in the philosophy of mind, and that there are good reasons and arguments for thinking this is the case. However, materialism is relatively new in the philosophy of mind (starting at around the early 20th century) and most philosophers, even with materialistic or naturalistic conceptions of the world, have thought of the mind in non-materialistic terms (Karl Popper, Bertrand Russell, C.D. Broad, etc). So, Feser points out the arguments for materialism and those against it, but tries to be neutral about which way he leans (though it is relatively clear he favors the non-materialist versions of the mind).
The book is broken down into eight categories: Perception, Dualism, Materialism, Qualia, Consciousness, Thought, Intentionality, and Persons. Since explaining all of the different positions expressed in the book would alleviate anyone from reading the book itself, allow me to focus on two of the areas that Feser mentions: dualism and materialism.
For those unfamiliar with philosophy, dualism is the position that there are two different types of things in the world; physical things such as atoms, quarks, persons, etc, and mental things such as thoughts, desires, etc and that these two things are not reducible to each other; like apples and oranges they are fundamentally different types of things. This view is usually attributed to Rene Descartes, but it goes back at least to Plato and his theory of forms. There are different types of dualism as well, such as substance dualism (which is formulated by Descartes, stating that the mind and body are separate substances); property dualism (which states that mind and body are connected, but have different properties and functions; John Searle is an advocate of this view); and hylomorphism (a view similar to property dualism, but not as clear; this is Feser's view). Fundamentally, dualism rests on a sort of common sense that since it seems that the mind and body are different things (the mind is a thinking thing, the body an extended, acting thing), that they must in fact be different things. The main problem with dualism (which Feser admits but does not solve), is that it seems impossible for non-material things to interact with material things. This is known as the interaction problem. The problem has not been solved in the hundreds of years since Descartes, and it seems that this is a good reason to move away from any sort of dualism.
Materialism, like dualism, has different forms such as behaviorism (that mental states are reducible to behavior), functionalism (which is that mental states should be understood in terms of functional roles; this is the view I endorse) and identity theory (the mind is the same as the brain). The reason materialism is superior to dualism is not because materialism has answered all the questions (nearly all materialists would admit that there are many unresolved questions) but because in principle we see how the problems can be solved through the medium of natural science. Dualism faces problems that are in principle irresolvable, and Occam's razor will lead us to a materialist view of the mind rather than a non-materialist view of the mind.
These are just two of the issues that Feser deals with in the book, but the best thing about the book (besides from Feser's writing) is that he is fair to all sides. When he makes the arguments for materialistic views of the mind, he does so in a way that materialists will think that he is supportive of their position. When he switches and talks about non-materialist approaches, materialists in turn will think, "You know, maybe there is something to this after all."
As mentioned before, the philosophy of mind is a challenging field, but I can think of no better place to start than with Edward Feser's Philosophy of Mind (A Beginner's Guide). A truly wonderful book.
Some of the people who would benefit the most from this book are the following:
1.) The nonprofessional who wants to read about the philosophy of mind for their own knowledge or enjoyment but who want to read one book not a thousand. This book is actually much more comprehensive then I ever expected it to be.
2.) The scholar who studies philosophy but who is unsure of whether to pursue it professionally, as well as … people who consider themselves philosophers but who are not sure if they are, or if they want to be “analytical” philosophers and those who are analytical philosophers but who are unsure of whether they want to study the philosophy of mind side of Analytical philosophy.
3.) The student who is currently studying philosophy on the graduate or undergraduate level and needs a book that will map out the basic positions, in order to help him or her decide which areas to concentrate on. This book presents the basic arguments in an economical way so as to make it easy to decide what positions one agrees and disagrees with, are interested in studying further, and which are not worth the bother, hence saving one countless hours reading books and articles that are ultimately useless for their own personal philosophical purposes.
For this final category, this book is also superb for pointing in the right direction for further research in various individual areas.
The only thing one who intends to use the book for professional purposes should keep in mind is that this book is written in a manner that is more designed for the layman than for the seasoned professional and hence may not be as detailed or as nuanced in its language as may be necessary for some professional purposes. Nevertheless, it has many benefits even for professionals.