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1. Philosophy of Mind (Dimensions
2. Philosophy of Mind: Classical
3. An Introduction to the Philosophy
4. Empiricism and the Philosophy
5. The Conscious Mind: In Search
6. Philosophy in the Flesh : The
7. Stoic Warriors: The Ancient Philosophy
8. Simulating Minds: The Philosophy,
9. Philosophy of Mind: A Guide and
10. The Disordered Mind: An Introduction
11. Philosophy of Mind: A Beginner's
12. The Philosophy of Animal Minds
13. Phenomenology and Philosophy of
14. The Phenomenological Mind: An
15. Running and Philosophy: A Marathon
16. Philosophy of Mind and Cognition:
17. Philosophy of Mind: A Contemporary
18. The Philosophy of Mind (Studies
19. With All Your Mind: A Christian
20. Philosophy of Mind

1. Philosophy of Mind (Dimensions of Philosophy)
by Jaegwon Kim
Paperback: 352 Pages (2005-07-29)
list price: US$37.00 -- used & new: US$27.94
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Asin: 0813342694
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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The philosophy of mind has always been a staple of the philosophy curriculum. But it has never held a more important place than it does today, with both traditional problems and new topics often sparked by the developments in the psychological, cognitive, and computer sciences. Jaegwon Kim’s Philosophy of Mind is the classic, comprehensive survey of the subject. Now in its second edition, Kim explores, maps, and interprets this complex and exciting terrain. Designed as an introduction to the field for upper-level undergraduates and graduate students, Philosophy of Mind focuses on the mind/body problem and related issues, some touching on the status of psychology and cognitive science. The second edition features a new chapter on Cartesian substance dualism-a perspective that has been little discussed in the mainstream philosophy of mind and almost entirely ignored in most introductory books in philosophy of mind. In addition, all the chapters have been revised and updated to reflect the trends and developments of the last decade. Throughout the text, Kim allows readers to come to their own terms with the central problems of the mind. At the same time, the author’s own emerging views are on display and serve to move the discussion forward. Comprehensive, clear, and fair, Philosophy of Mind is a model of philosophical exposition. It is a major contribution to the study and teaching of the philosophy of mind.
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Customer Reviews (8)

2-0 out of 5 stars Interesting book but under a dualist framework
I am in a Master in Contemporary Philosophy and I came to study Kim's book. Each chapter of the book is a discussion of a concrete theory of mind-body relationship. Kim opens with the dualist Cartesian theory, and ends up with his own position: a mix of reduction of identity and of functions that equates mental states to its physical properties.

However, it is not only a list or a historical survey of the mind-body problem. It is also an exposition and an inner understanding of how the main problems have happened to be what they actually are. Interestingly, in this second edition, Kim adds the first chapter dealing with Cartesian dualism, that was missing in the first edition. This means, in my opinion, that to fully grasp the problems faced by Kim the framework is the dualist one. Supervenience, physicalism, reduction, and all the other aspects showed by Kim to solve the problem, are to be correctly understood upon the background of dualism.

To be honest, I come from continental philosophy, and I have devoted some time to Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty and the so called existential phenomenology of French language. One of the main achievements of these thinkers is, in my opinion, to have successfully rejected, the dualism framework of Descartes. Indeed, the major problems faced by Merleau-Ponty are a new understanding of Descartes and Kant problems but upon a new base, a base that rejects in the very beginning the opposition between mind and body. Unfortunately, here is not the place of a positive exposition of a non dualist anthropology. In this sense, Kim's book is to me somehow naïf.

An example will suffice to make the point. The crux of Kim book is the "hard problem" and the "explanatory gap", two faces of the same coin. The problem of the hard problem is: how is it possible that a physical organism is capable to feel pain or any conscious emotion? The explanatory gap faces this other problem: how is it that certain physical processes cause pain and not itch, for instance? What links the physical base to the conscious experience? It is obvious to me the dualist design of the questions. According to this vision mind is a complete and perfect reality on its own and can be fully described without any reference to the body. And the same goes for the body. But that is an abstraction that understands the body as a physiological organism, under the point of view of natural sciences as physiology, neurology or biology. But that is not a correct description of the body as is ordinarily lived. Anybody relates to his own body as an assemblage of muscles, organs, molecules, etc. The direct relation to our own body is a relationship of meaning and sense: that is, a relationship that already includes a non physical -a mental- horizon.

In my opinion Kim misses the point because does not offer a correct description of the ordinary experience of the body. In conclusion: interesting book but under a dualist anthropology.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great intro to Phil of Mind
This is quite simply an excellent introduction to the philosophy of mind.I purchased this book for Kim's class at Brown and found it to be a very well written presentation of the relevant history of and competing arguments for all the main topics in the philosophy of mind.Of course Kim has his own argument to present and makes his case for it where appropriate but never preaches to the reader.Overall it is a very accessible text - highly recommended for anyone wondering where to start in the field.

3-0 out of 5 stars Kim's view on Philosophy of Mind
I can agree with much written in the earlier reviews (style, topics, etc.). From a European continental view it is very odd that Kim never even mentions that there have been some thought on these topics from contemporary continental philosophy too. He mentions Brentano only once and very brief, but you won't find anything about Husserl or Merleau-Ponty. Also other more Anglo-Saxon alternatives like panpsychism (Whitehead, Hartshorne, Griffin) are completely omitted as if they do not exist. I understand that he makes his choices for fields and opinions he is most familiar with (analytic philosophy and physicalism), but ignoring completely everything else gives me the impression that he is intellectually dishonest (because he once replied on Griffin's work) and indulgent navel-gazing (because philosophy is much more than analytic philosophy). So a small account on dismissing other movements in the preface or introduction would be nice, like he does with his choice to focus mainly onmind-brain problems. On some topics he is too elaborate and his pseudo-mathematical formulations are distracting. So except from that and his one-sidedness it is a good, clear introduction.

5-0 out of 5 stars Philosophy of Mind
Great job! I ordered this book on 9/5(wed.) it was shipped on 9/7(fri) and received 9/11(tues.) This book was in stock using regular shipping and received earlier than stated. This experience was so great, I cancelled another book order with a different company and ordered again the following week.

5-0 out of 5 stars Authoritative survey of major issues in philosophy of mind
I have a bit of an obsession with introductions to the philosophy of mind. I went a bit overboard in preparing for my Ph.D. comprehensive exam in the philosophy of mind. I have read Matter and Consciousness - Revised Edition: A Contemporary Introduction to the Philosophy of Mind, The Mechanical Mind: A Philosophical Introduction to Minds, Machines and Mental Representation, Mind: A Brief Introduction (Fundamentals of Philosophy), Philosophy of Mind: A Contemporary Introduction (Routledge Contemporary Introductions to Philosophy), Philosophy of Mind: An Overview for Cognitive Science, Introducing Persons: Theories and Arguments in the Philosophy of Mind, Gray Matters: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Mind, Philosophy of Mind and Cognition: An Introduction, Contemporary Philosophy of Mind: A Contentiously Classical Approach, The Character of Mind: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Mind (OPUS), anda couple others. I can say that, without question, Jaegwon Kim's "Philosophy of Mind" is the finest, particularly in its revised and expanded Second Edition. It may also be the most intellectually challenging of the bunch. Out of many introductory books on the philosophy of mind, I find myself returning to this book the most.

Kim gives a thorough-going overview of contemporary philosophy of mind. He is a masterful writer with the ability to explain difficult material as simply as it can be explained without oversimplifying. There are many more basic introductions to the philosophy of mind, but Kim's is notable for its authoritativeness, its clarity of exposition, and its attention to the nuts and bolts of major philosophical arguments in the philosophy of mind.

I think the book would make an ideal companion to a rigorous undergraduate (or even graduate) introductory course in the philosophy of mind.

Kim's "Philosophy of Mind" is the kind of book that can be read profitably alongside many of the major philosophy papers written in contemporary philosophy journals. At the end of each chapter Kim provides the go-to sources for each of the ideas covered in a chapter. In that sense, the book provides the perfect jumping off point for more in-depth work in the philosophy of mind. For those outside academic philosophy, the presentation of ideas might not be the most accommodating. Despite Kim's clear writing, much of the material is complex and will involve reading and rereading carefully. One will have to review the steps in the arguments if one wants to come away from the book with a fluency in the ideas treated. Although the material is rigorous, Kim is to be credited for making accessible the kind of philosophy of mind found in contemporary philosophy journals. Much of the language could as easily be found in one of Kim's academic books or papers. So the writing can be dry at times simply because it is dense with argument.

Kim is perhaps the world expert on supervenience and mental causation, subjects dealt with in depth here, and, given the recency of publication, many of the ideas presented represent Kim's latest thinking on the problems, sometimes involving modifications of earlier positions he has advocated.

If one is interested in the intersection of cognitive science and philosophy of mind this is definitely not the book for you. More appropriate would be Andy Clark's "Mindware: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Cognitive Science", Tim Crane's "The Mechanical Mind", or Churchland's "Matter and Consciousness", the last of which is particularly good at relating philosophy of mind to cognitive neuroscience, although Churchland's treatment could stand to be updated. There is no attempt by Kim to engage with empirical research in any matter whatsoever. So someone inspired by the work of, for example, Daniel Dennett in "Consciousness Explained" should definitely look elsewhere.

I am a bit surprised to read a 338 page guide to the philosophy of mind that nowhere mentions Daniel Dennett, Colin McGinn, or the Churchlands. There is also no discussion of the language of thought hypothesis. In addition, nowhere will one find discussions of personal identity or free will, which I suppose is appropriate given the aims of the book. What we find are the bare bones big topics in academic philosophy of mind: dualism, psychoneural identity theory, functionalism, mental causation, consciousness, mental content (i.e. externalism and internalism), and reductionism. If one is looking for a more accessible outsider's guide to philosophy of mind, one could do worse than Searle's "Mind: An Introduction". But if the above topics are the ones that interest you, there is no better place than Kim's book to get a grounding in them. ... Read more

2. Philosophy of Mind: Classical and Contemporary Readings
Paperback: 688 Pages (2002-07-25)
list price: US$67.95 -- used & new: US$40.00
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Asin: 019514581X
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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What is the mind? Is consciousness a process in the brain? How do our minds represent the world? Philosophy of Mind: Classical and Contemporary Readings is a grand tour of writings on these and other perplexing questions about the nature of the mind. The most comprehensive collection of its kind, the book includes sixty-three selections that range from the classical contributions of Descartes to the leading edge of contemporary debates. Extensive sections cover foundational issues, the nature of consciousness, and the nature of mental content. Three of the selections are published here for the first time, while many other articles have been revised especially for this volume. Each section opens with an introduction by the editor. Philosophy of Mind is suitable for students at all levels and also for general readers. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great book, excelent service
This is a great book, helped me a lot in class. It arrived in a great condition, and really fast too.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Neuroscientist's Perspective
I want to start by saying that I highly recommend this for a scientific audience. Before starting the book I felt a bit like I was going into enemy territory. I didn't want to hear about Chalmers' dualistic views. I didn't want to get convinced by them. I'm a scientist for crying out loud!

This compilation gave me exactly what I was looking for. A balanced view with articles written by the luminaries in the field. Ideas and concepts that philosophers usually throw around as a matter of fact are clearly explained by the people who actually coined these very ideas.

It was surprisingly accessible for a non-philosopher, although some sections did get a little technical, so I had to skip them. But this didn't break the flow of the book or hinder the understanding of other articles.

Chalmers gives great introductions to every section in the book, so you never lose track of the development of different ideas and how they stand with respect to each other.

Finally, after learning so much (and even though it goes against Chalmers' own ideas) I am a much more confident materialist (Type A ;)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great!
This is a fantastic collection compiled by David Chalmers, one of the leading philosophers of mind today. The best papers in here are "Quining Qualia" and " True Believers: The Intentional Strategy and Why It Works" by Dan Dennett, "The Rediscovery of Light" by Paul Churchland (all you hard-problemers out there should be forced to read at least the ending section of this paper), "What Experience Teaches" by David Lewis, "Sensations and Brain Processes" by J.J.C. Smart, "Is Consciousness a Brain Process?", and a good excerpt from "Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind" by Wilfrid Sellars. Non-reductive materialists and property dualists also will like this book as they are represented as well with papers from the likes of Jackson (classical paper of his is included in which he expounds the knowledge argument, "Epiphenomenal Qualia") Mcginn, Nagel, Block, Levine, and of course Chalmers himself. All in all this is a fair sampling of the competing views in the Philosophy of Mind.

5-0 out of 5 stars Outstanding collection of papers
This is an outstanding collection of papers, the most comprehensive probably ever published, on the issues relating to the philosophy of mind. They range from classical considerations such as the Cartesion dichotomy to modern analytical philosophy. They're really too diverse to summarize here, but if you already have a background in the subject, this book would be a great way to get up to date on what's going on.

This is an area I've worked in myself, and I thought I'd add a few more of my own comments to the debate, by way of considering a certain proposition. This is the statement that "You cannot know who you are and be who you are simultaneously. I owe the Canadian philosopher, Stephen Garvey, for this fascinating question, and he did the very interesting thing of opening up a "philosophy competition" to debate this proposition on a website he created expressly for this purpose. My background is both in philosophy and psychobiology, and so I would like to consider this proposition in the the light of that information.

Although it may be difficult to overcome this proposition, I don't see that the statements that we cannot know who we are and be who we are simultaneously are necessarily mutually exclusive.

Because of the existence of the condition "at the same time," this proposition really has three parts, not just two. If we can in fact know who we are at certain moments in time, and be who we are at certain moments in time, but these moments are contiguous but not overlapping, then we have achieved two of the three conditions. Then the only issue that remains is the one of simultaneity.

If it is thought that this is in fact the case, then the problem really comes down to a matter of the temporal exclusivity of the two main statements, and whether this one issue can in fact be overcome.

However, if we concede that being is a constant as long as we are alive, and that it cannot be isolated into discrete moments of time, then in that case, the condition of simultaneity can be removed for the statement "be who we are" since our being is not simultaneous with anything, it is simply continuous or a constant. If this is conceded, then the proposition is overcome if one can attain knowledge of one's self or who we are at any point during our existence.

In regard to the above, Garvey asked, "What is behind our knowing that allows us to know who we are without being who we are? How can we know, eat, or walk without being who we are?" I don't think that is possible either. However, even if it is conceded that knowledge, and perhaps even the knowledge of who we are, is not a constant and may be fragmentary or isolated in time, this is not a problem if it can be demonstrated that we can know who we are at any point in time (no matter how infinitesimally small) while we exist, which as we have concluded, is a constant.

Therefore, if during a typical lifetime of 70 years or so (a period comprised of approximately 2.2 billion seconds) we are able to know who we are for even a second, or even a millisecond during that period, we shall know who we are and be who we are simultaneously, and the proposition is overcome.

Then the problem really comes down to what is acceptable proof of the knowledge of who we are. Garvey pointed out that this is really a matter of knowing who we are either as what we know or knowledge as form, and the temporal exclusivity argument from the standpoint of being as a temporal constant. Since we have conceded being is a constant, there is nothing inherent in being itself that precludes the possibility of knowing who we are and being who we are simultaneously.

Therefore, is there anything in knowing who we are that precludes it from being simultaneous with being who we are? If it is conceded that it is not then we are now much closer to overcoming the proposition.

Anyway, just a few comments of my own on the thorny problem of the mind-brain question that are appropos of the subject of the current book. ... Read more

3. An Introduction to the Philosophy of Mind (Cambridge Introductions to Philosophy)
by E. J. Lowe
Paperback: 332 Pages (2000-01-28)
list price: US$29.99 -- used & new: US$14.75
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Asin: 0521654289
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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E. J. Lowe offers a lucid and wide-ranging introduction to the philosophy of mind. Using a problem-centered approach designed to stimulate as well as instruct, he begins with a general examination of the mind-body problem and moves on to more specific issues including perception, rationality, action and self-knowledge. His discussion is distinctive in giving equal attention to deep metaphysical questions concerning the mind and to the discoveries and theories of modern scientific psychology. It will be of interest to any reader with a basic grounding in modern philosophy. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

3-0 out of 5 stars Decidedly biased against physicalism
This book is informative for people new to philosophy of the mind.Nevertheless, I noted a certain bias on the part of the author against physicalism in general.Furthermore, it seems that in certain places he misconstrues certain concepts and makes contradictory statements.For instance, he claims that functionalism is consistent with type-type identity theory; yet, how can this be since type-type identity theory posits that certain types of mental states are identical with certain types of physical states while functionalism essentially denies that this is so since, from the functionalist perspective it is theoretically possible for a mental state A to be caused by both physical state B and C based upon the supposition that these different physical states are functional equivalents?Furthermore, in his discussion of the objections to substance dualism he (perhaps I did not understand his position correctly on this issue) misconstrues the argument that questions the ability of a non-physical mind to cause a physical effect by suggesting that this argument is really nothing more than an assumption that "causation must always be local."It seems to me that the issue is not whether causation must be "local" but rather whether a non-physical something can causally affect the physical world.At any rate, the book is informative though at times confusing and perhaps even a bit misleading.Nevertheless, I would still recommend it as it flows well in most places and is an enjoyable read.

5-0 out of 5 stars Good Undergrad Text
I selected this text for a 300-level undergraduate course, primarily for the even-handedness of the topical coverage, and the author's refusal to embrace the trendy dogmas of computationalism and materialism. Lowe writes as if philosophy is still in the driver's seat. The book is meticulously organized and systematically presented. I have my own preferences for topical coverage, and Lowe omits some topics I would have included, but this is nothing a couple of supplementary articles can't fix.

I would also say that the clarity and erudition of Lowe's writing style is a cut above the rest. There are surely some good writers like Kim and Searle who work this area. But there are some published philosophers whose writing is so confused, it is abusive to make undergraduates read them. While the level of discussion is high, no intelligent student will fail to understand Lowe because of the stylistic failings of the exposition.

Perhaps Lowe's writing is a little too self-consciously reserved and a bit on the dry side. While a book like The Mind's I is a noisy open air market, full of color, funny smells, and a cacophony of shouting and squawking chickens, Lowe's book is a quiet, elegant bistro, with white linen and Mozart playing through discreetly placed speakers.

Highly recommended.

5-0 out of 5 stars How introductions to philosophy should be written.
I am a tremendous admirer of Jonathan Lowe's books, both for his even-handed, thorough, and nuanced treatment of his topics and for the extraordinary lucidity of his expository prose style. So, naturally, Iordered this volume as soon as it became available, with highexpectations.

I was not disappointed. This fine volume is a complete,systematic introduction to the philosophy of mind. And Lowe's remarkableexposition will be accessible to the beginner but sacrifices nothing inprecision or completeness in order to achieve that accessibility.

Themain feature that sets this volume apart from other apparently similarintroductions is the balance Lowe strikes between philosophy proper andcognitive science. Lowe spares no effort to incorporate relevant resultsfrom empirical research, but he is quite unwilling to concede thatphilosophy has simply become the handmaid of empirical psychology orneuroscience. In spirit though not in detail, his approach reminds me ofBrand Blanshard's in _The Nature of Thought_.

Moreover, Lowe'spresentation is more concerned with raising important questions than withdetermining their answers. Some of the most valuable passages in his booksimply point out the existence of significant _problems_ and canvass thepossible solutions. In some cases he prefers one solution to another andsays so, giving his reasons. But in every case the entire array ofproposals receives a fair hearing, with references.

The text consists ofan introduction and nine topical chapters, devoted in turn to these titletopics: minds, bodies, and people; mental states; mental content; sensationand appearance; perception; thought and language; human rationality andartifical intelligence; action, intention, and will; and personal identityand self-knowledge. The order of the chapters is of course important, but Ifind that each can be read as a mostly self-contained introduction to itstopic.

The coverage is extremely thorough. Lowe's discussion introducesa wide range of subissues, including e.g. whether minds are"things," the ontological status of propositions, sense-data vs."adverbial" accounts of sensory experience, the existence (orotherwise) of qualia, the meaning(s) of rationality, the relevance of thesepossible meanings to the claims of empirical research, the nature ofintentionality, John Searle's famous "Chinese room" experiment,and the meaning of "free will." (This last topic is one ofseveral that might not ordinarily be regarded as part of the"philosophy of mind." Lowe acknowledges as much but finds goodreason to discuss the experiments of Benjamin Libet -- the ones thatappeared to showthat certain choices actually _followed_ certain changesin the brain by as much as a fifth of a second.)

Here as elsewhere,Lowe's great strength is his ability to make issues clear, including hisuncanny skill in raising a broad range of possibilities and objectionswithin a just few paragraphs or pages without sacrifice of depth. I reallydon't know how to convey, in a short review, the remarkable effectivenessof Lowe's exposition; suffice it to say that he is a gifted prose stylistwhose straightforward clarity is admirably suited to philosophicalmaterial.

In short, this volume is a wonderfully clear presentation ofits title topic, suitable to readers of any philosophical commitment ornone. Lowe's own views are quite defensible in their own right, of course,and readers may be led to consult his other works (of which I have alsoreviewed his excellent book _Locke on Human Understanding_). However, quiteapart from agreement on particular issues, any reader seeking anintroduction to the philosophy of mind can hardly find a better, fairer, ormore thorough guide than Lowe. I can't praise this workmanlike volumeenough. ... Read more

4. Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind
by Wilfrid Sellars
Paperback: 192 Pages (1997-03-25)
list price: US$27.00 -- used & new: US$23.49
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Asin: 0674251555
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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The most important work by one of America's greatest twentieth-century philosophers, Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind is both the epitome of Wilfrid Sellars' entire philosophical system and a key document in the history of philosophy. First published in essay form in 1956, it helped bring about a sea change in analytic philosophy. It broke the link, which had bound Russell and Ayer to Locke and Hume--the doctrine of "knowledge by acquaintance." Sellars' attack on the Myth of the Given in Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind was a decisive move in turning analytic philosophy away from the foundationalist motives of the logical empiricists and raised doubts about the very idea of "epistemology."

With an introduction by Richard Rorty to situate the work within the history of recent philosophy, and with a study guide by Robert Brandom, this publication of Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind makes a difficult but indisputably significant figure in the development of analytic philosophy clear and comprehensible to anyone who would understand that philosophy or its history.

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Customer Reviews (5)

3-0 out of 5 stars a difficult read, not recommendable to every philosophy student
The review is just on Sellars' essay. Rorty as usual hasn't said much about things. So if you know Sellars via Rorty, drop this one and read Derrida instead. Brandom is still quite interesting, but there are many others who want to talk about him.

From the first time I read the essay, I was wondering why Sellars's text is so ambiguous and incomprehensible. He studied mathematics before he came to study philosophy. But unlike Quine, you saw not even a vestige of mathematical elegance in his clumsy writing. His way of reasoning is just way too un-analytical. Soon I came to the conclusion that he knew very little of contemporary logic. Philosophy is a very funny discipline. Sometimes, the difficulty in understanding a philosophical argument points to the difficulty at the heart of the real philosophical problems and sometimes, it results from a confused way of thinking about matters. It takes time for readers to be able to determine from which the difficulty originates. Initially, I thought the difficulty in reading Sellars is a genuine one, but I found later that most of the time it wasn't.

In many cases, as one reviewer below says, he simply mis-reasons and in an awkward way. The way he construes regress argument in memory judgment is one such example.

Other times, he simply confuses himself or omits argument all together. In SS20 for example, after a long discussion on conceptual priority of the "is" over the "looks" , he proposes and defends conceptual holism against adverbial theory; which is a variant of epistemological foundationalism. Adverbialists such as Chisholm characteristically endorse the foundationalist thesis that there are some basic beliefs which justify all other non-basic empirical beliefs. They think perceptual beliefs of the kind "x looks R to me", "x appears R to me" are candidates for such basic beliefs. This thesis, problematic as it may sound too Cartesian, by itself doesn't lead them to commit to conceptual atomism. It only tells us that the belief statements of the form " x looks R" are justificatory prior to belief statement of the form " x is R". The thesis about epistemic justification doesn't tell us anything about the conceptual priority of one term over the other, so defending conceptual holism can be perfectly compatible with the position Sellars argues against. Sellars seems to conflate epistemological question with conceptual question here. There are mistakes of this kind here and there in this essay. In another place, he simply didn't argue well enough. He commits to a semantic thesis that a word's meaning is its functional role to defend his "psychological nominalism". This thesis which is now called "functional semantic theory" is itself a very controversial thesis and you need a book-length argument to just defend the view.( btw, which is what Brandom was trying to do in recent years) But Sellars simply sketched out the basic idea and did no defense on his claim.

Even though Sellars' original presentation is far from clear, the idea of "myth of the given" is quite interesting nontheless. The idea is roughly that any mental items (propositional or non-propositional) that play epistemically justificational role in justifying empirically significant statements couldn't be independently given. It depends for its justification on other propositions. No candidate of the given could serve the role it was meant to serve. So on this construal, not only sense-data can't be given, but judgments such as "it looks red to me" or "I have a pain in my stomach" can't be given as well. So his critique on the myth of the given is clearly broader than any arguments against sense-data theory and probably broader than private language argument. The problem is that it may be too broad. If you endorse Sellars' critique of MOG along with his psychological nominalism which states that any kind of awareness (conscious or unconscious) is linguistic affair, then you need to deny any awareness of pain on the part of creatures who don't use language-like systems like us. Not only that he also had to expel sensations all together from the realm of reasons, hence from objects of awareness. (he prefers to use the term "sense impression" or "direct experience" instead of sensation in this text) and thinks of it as "postulated" instead of "directly experienced". According to this view, then, phenomenal quality such as pain has obviously no place in our realm of reasons because it contains no propositional content, let alone linguistic content, but can we seriously claim that we are not even aware of them because all awareness is propositional in form?

Warning: The text doesn't include the footnotes Sellars added in 1960's. The added footnotes are significant enough for undertanding subsequent debates between Sellars and his critiques (Chisholm, Firth etc). If you want a full text of this essay with added footnotes, get "Science, Perception and Reality" instead.

5-0 out of 5 stars Brilliant and rewarding
I have come back to this essay by Sellars again and again for over thirty years, and have never failed to impressed and inspired. Sellars can always get me to think at a deeper level than I'm used to. Second only perhaps to Wittgenstein in influence, Sellars is a philosopher's philosopher: understanding him requires a thorough grounding in the history of philosophy, and this essay in particular takes it for granted that you understand 20th century empricism and "sense data" theories pretty well. Even so, the writing style can be both dense and difficult, but reading it aloud can untangle any number of tricky passages. If you're not quite so well versed in history of philosophy, a similar critique can be found in J.L. Austin's "Sense and Sensibilia," which is more accessible but not nearly as profound. In the course of showing the futility of finding incorrigibile foundations for empirical knowledge in sense experience, Sellars simultaneously develops a strictly behavioristic psychology that legitimizes all the goodies, all the mental vocabulary, that folks like Skinner forbade. A tour de force unequalled in 80 years. Bob Brandom's explicatory essay is very helpful, and untwists several tricky knots in the text.

3-0 out of 5 stars Cave!
I do not understand why it is always said that Sellars' language was sodifficult. I found his philosophical style quite straight-on.Unfortunately, Sellars' main work is punctuated by some passages ofsuperficial and/or incorrect reasoning, at which passages some may assumethat they do not understand Sellars' argumentation - though it "has tobe profound" (because of Sellars' reputation). The most importantissue in this essay is the impossibility of reporting sense impressionswithout using language (with all implications that come along with that),and the repercussions of this circumstance on the philosophy of logicalempiricism in its early stage (though Sellars obviously thinks his ideasimpact on all forms of empiricism, which is not true). Along that line,Sellars has many good points that should be considered in the philosophy ofscience and in common sense reasoning, yet his reputed final dismantling ofthe "myth" of the given never takes place; in Sellars intentions,maybe, but his arguments are a far cry from being a stringent refutation.They are simply too superficial and too colloquial for that. (Cf. Putnam'smodel-theoretic arguments against realism, for a contrast.) What is reallyunfortunate for Sellars' essay is that, in this edition, it is framed byRorty and Brandom. The philosophical humorist Rorty has contributed aforeword in an attempt to assimilate Sellars serious philosophical projectinto his radical-relativist historicizing outlook of philosophy, thuscompletely misleading the unknowing reader. The bright, but misguided,Brandom offers a study guide, which is no study guide, but an attempt todirect the reader at those aspects of Sellars' essay, which Brandom's owninferentialist philosophy is supposed to stem from. Unfortunately, theseaspects are exactly the most questionable. So, while Sellars' essay is aprofitable classic of analytic philosophy, the reader should be warned toread Rorty's foreword and Brandom's study guide cautiously and criticallyand to thoroughly consider, if these really reflect Sellars' essaycorrectly.

5-0 out of 5 stars deep, difficult, essential
"Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind" is an essential epistemological text of the twentieth century. It is difficult: each sentence is difficult. Sellars is said to have shown the existence of a private language by writing in one. The guide by Brandom does not much clarify and simplify the argument of Sellars for two reasons. It is impossible to do this. And Brandom wants to and does contribute significantly to Sellars scholarship. Sellars writes for the professional philosopher. If you plan to be such, or if you want to encounter philosophy at its most profound, you should study the book.

2-0 out of 5 stars A difficult, controversial work in philosophy
There are two areas to comment on with regards to this printing of "Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind" (EPM).The first is the presentation style and the second is the content.On the presentation:Rorty's introduction is very helpful in preparing one to read the book.The large print will be a welcome relief to anyone who has squinted at the pages of *Science, Perception and Reality* which also includes EPM.However, the omission of the footnotes Sellars added in 1963 is very odd.Also, the endnote markers are not superscripted but merely placed in parentheses which can be confusing since at other times a number in () is not referring to an endnote but rather to a numbered paragraph.Be forewarned that Brandom's study guide is not exegetical as one might hope.It is an interpretation of the work.On the content:This book is definitely not for beginners, and one can become quickly annoyed at Sellars' use of cliches as references to philosophical systems.Also, Sellars will make reference to specific philosophers without actually naming them, making it difficult to figure out just what specific advocation of a view he is rejecting (See for example Section 30).Other times, he will specifically mention who he has in mind, such as in Sections 8-9 when he brings up the name of A.J. Ayer.It should go without saying that the claims Sellars makes are by no means easy to grasp and they are even less easy to accept.A note on my low ranking of this book:I gave it a 4 mostly because of Sellars' difficult writing style, and not because of the shortcomings in presentation mentioned above. ... Read more

5. The Conscious Mind: In Search of a Fundamental Theory (Philosophy of Mind Series)
by David J. Chalmers
Paperback: 432 Pages (1997-11-27)
list price: US$24.99 -- used & new: US$8.40
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Asin: 0195117891
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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What is consciousness? How do physical processes in the brain give rise to the self-aware mind and to feelings as profoundly varied as love or hate, aesthetic pleasure or spiritual yearning? These questions today are among the most hotly debated issues among scientists and philosophers, and we have seen in recent years superb volumes by such eminent figures as Francis Crick, Daniel C. Dennett, Gerald Edelman, and Roger Penrose, all firing volleys in what has come to be called the consciousness wars. Now, in The Conscious Mind, philosopher David J. Chalmers offers a cogent analysis of this heated debate as he unveils a major new theory of consciousness, one that rejects the prevailing reductionist trend of science, while offering provocative insights into the relationship between mind and brain.

Writing in a rigorous, thought-provoking style, the author takes us on a far-reaching tour through the philosophical ramifications of consciousness. Chalmers convincingly reveals how contemporary cognitive science and neurobiology have failed to explain how and why mental events emerge from physiological occurrences in the brain. He proposes instead that conscious experience must be understood in an entirely new light--as an irreducible entity (similar to such physical properties as time, mass, and space) that exists at a fundamental level and cannot be understood as the sum of its parts. And after suggesting some intriguing possibilities about the structure and laws of conscious experience, he details how his unique reinterpretation of the mind could be the focus of a new science. Throughout the book, Chalmers provides fascinating thought experiments that trenchantly illustrate his ideas. For example, in exploring the notion that consciousness could be experienced by machines as well as humans, Chalmers asks us to imagine a thinking brain in which neurons are slowly replaced by silicon chips that precisely duplicate their functions--as the neurons are replaced, will consciousness gradually fade away? The book also features thoughtful discussions of how the author's theories might be practically applied to subjects as diverse as artificial intelligence and the interpretation of quantum mechanics.

All of us have pondered the nature and meaning of consciousness. Engaging and penetrating, The Conscious Mind adds a fresh new perspective to the subject that is sure to spark debate about our understanding of the mind for years to come. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (30)

4-0 out of 5 stars The most honest philosophy of mind book
Chalmers is by for the most objective philosopher of mind out there. He does not claim to have all the answers but tries his best to create a framework that he believes can be used to solve the "problem of consciousness". This is a must read for any serious student of the philosophy of mind.

The books main position is that an entirely materialistic view of the world could not possibly account for the existence of consciousness. I believe that for the most part he succeeds in proving this assertion. Throughout the book Chalmers mostly makes rationalistic a priori arguments, so those people who are hard-core empiricists (i.e Daniel Dennet) would most likely disregard his line of reasoning. In particular, many people have attacked his knowledge argument and zombie argument.

1-0 out of 5 stars Was this seriously 1996 so ?
I am really no philosopher. For everyone interested in consciousness /far away from the border between science andphilosophy/ The Emerging Physics of Consciousness (The Frontiers Collection).
David Chalmers attempt equals an underestimation of nature.

1-0 out of 5 stars A Major Disappointment
Because of its popularity and its subject matter, I was very excited to read Chalmers' The Conscious Mind. I was horribly disappointed.

First, Chalmers' discussion of supervenience and intension in chapter two is horribly convoluted. Of course, Chalmers asterisked some of the more technical parts of this chapter so that the lay reader could skip them, but here's the problem: if you skip these sections, you are no longer able to critique the most crucial parts of Chalmers's argument!

Second, Chalmers engages in bizarre and fallacious reasoning. One of his central arguments runs like this: It is possible to imagine a zombie---that is, a being who is molecule-by-molecule identical to me, but who lacks phenomenal conscious experiences (i.e., qualia). Since imagining this involves no obvious logical contradiction, zombies must be logically possible. Since zombies are logically possible, qualia must not supervene on physical facts--that is, qualia are not logically dependent upon the physical. Since this is true, there can be no possible reductive, materialistic explanation of consciousness.

This argument is preposterous on its face, as many reviewers have noted, and it is only the hocus-pocus about supervenience and intension in chapter two which lends it even a little credibility. For example, let's assume that reductive explanation X can fully explain consciousness in terms of brain functioning. Even if this is true, it is STILL possible for us to imagine zombies right NOW---purely because of our ignorance of X. Since the zombie argument is a central pillar of Chalmers's text, its failure is a failure of the book as a whole.

Third, Chalmers has not done his homework when it comes to the arguments of other philosophers. For example (leaving aside the technical details), I would suggest reading Quine's essay "Two Dogmas of Empiricism" in From a Logical Point of View. Then, read Chalmer's discussion of Quine's arguments in chapter two of this book. Then reread Quine's essay (it's a tough essay). Chalmers utterly fails to refute Quine's arguments, and these arguments are absolutely fatal to Chalmers's entire enterprise--especially his ridiculous zombie argument.

Finally, Chalmers does not address previous attempts to explain qualia (phenomenal conscious experiences) reductively. Daniel Dennett, for example, spends an entire chapter of Consciousness Explained trying to provide just such a reductive explanation. Since Chalmers's whole point is to argue that the existence of qualia specifically makes reductive explanations of consciousness impossible, his failure to spend even two pages on Dennett's explanation is ridiculous. (Briefly, Dennett argues that qualia just are the sum total of all a person's visceral, cognitive, emotional, etc. repsonses to a particular object of perception.)

In its foundations, its approach, and its failure to address important arguments by Quine, Dennnett, and others, this book is an abject failure. Instead, I would strongly suggest purchasing the wonderful and varied essay collection Explaining Consciousness: The Hard Problem.

5-0 out of 5 stars Team Consciousness
A bunch of us (PS Churchland, PM Churchland, Dan Dennett, Frank Jackson, Colin McGinn, Joe Levine ,Tom Nagel, John Searle, Jaegwon Kim, and many others) have been writing about how to understand how talk of *mind* and talk of *brains* connect and if, and in what sense, mind *is* brain.Dave Chalmers breaks out of the crowd & makes us rethink everything.I am on record as not thinking the *hard problem* is as hard as Dave does; but read Chalmers for the argument that I (& most others underestimate) the difficulty. I think also that the move from conceivability (of zombies) to possibility is a problem.The fact remains that this is the most important work in consciousness studies in recent years.

One small thing: one reviewer of my *Consciousness Reconsidered* complains that I don't respond to Chalmers.This is true.My defense: my book appeared 4 or 5 years before Dave's.It would have been hard to respond to him.

4-0 out of 5 stars The author set out for seeking
The young philosopher could be praised for his making a negative conclusion that "Consciousness could not be reductively explained," but where to go next? So he set out to search for "a final theory of consciousness." which will be, in his words, basically a set of "psychophysical laws." The book includes no reference to Bergson, maybe because of his "vitalism & mysticism." Henri Bergson once talked in his lecture (in 1913) for the audience at the Society for Psychical Research in London to the effect that he imagined from time to time had Kepler, Galilei, and Newton been psychologists, we would have a psychology of today to be beyond our imaginations. Bergson imagined that fundamental laws of "mind" might have been found by them, just like ones of "dynamics" were found by them. So Chalmers might be a psychologist Newton of our days. He made a jump to physicist John Wheeler's "physical universe based on information theory" for the search of a proto-theory of consciousness in this book.
In his later paper in 2002 on "Consciousness and Its Place in Nature," Chalmers expressed his preference to a "Type-F Monism" to explain the origin of consciousness, saying "For my part, I give some credence to each of them [type-D dualism, type-E dualism, and type-F monism], I think that in some ways the type-F view is the most appealing, but this sense is largely grounded in aesthetic considerations whose force is unclear." Let me quote the related part from his paper:
"Type-F monism is the view that consciousness is constituted by the intrinsic properties of fundamental physical entities: that is, by the categorical bases of fundamental physical dispositions. On this view, phenomenal or protophenomenal properties are located at the fundamental level of physical reality, and in a certain sense, underlie physical reality itself (Chalmers' "philosophy of mind", p.265)."

So, basically what is in his "conscious outer ego" seems that "Consciousness" transcends physical reality not any more than physical reality transcends consciousness, if "the physical is derivative on the informational, and the ontology of this view could be worked out very neatly (ibid, p.287)."

Sir Oliver Lodge suggested about 100 years ago that we could cooperate with intelligent minds on the other side for us to get wiser, and I believe that we already had such cooperation in the case of Jane Roberts with Seth & Seth's big brother. What they are telling us is too intelligent to dismiss. Even Carl Jung could not understand "the enigmatic self" in his whole life, but Seth is telling what it is, also the meaning of "the Collective Unconscious."

Scientists as well as philosophers including Chalmers are now seeking for the origin of our "Consciousness," but if the "Consciousness" per se is the origin as Seth is telling us, they will never reach to the answer. [...] ... Read more

6. Philosophy in the Flesh : The Embodied Mind and Its Challenge to Western Thought
by George Lakoff, Mark Johnson
Paperback: 624 Pages (1999-12-01)
list price: US$24.95 -- used & new: US$7.40
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Asin: 0465056741
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Two leading thinkers offer a blueprint for a newphilosophy.

"Their ambition is massive, their argument important.…Theauthors engage in a sort of metaphorical genome project, attempting todelineate the genetic code of human thought."-The New York TimesBook Review

"This book will be an instant academic best-seller."-Mark Turner,University of Maryland

This is philosophy as it has never been seen before. Lakoff andJohnson show that a philosophy responsible to the science of the mindoffers a radically new and detailed understandings of what a personis. After first describing the philosophical stance that must followfrom taking cognitive science seriously, they re-examine the basicconcepts of the mind, time, causation, morality, and the self; thenthey rethink a host of philosophical traditions, from the classicalGreeks through Kantian morality through modern analytical philosophy.Amazon.com Review
George Lakoff and Mark Johnson take on the daunting task ofrebuilding Western philosophy in alignment with three fundamentallessons from cognitive science: The mind is inherently embodied,thought is mostly unconscious, and abstract concepts are largelymetaphorical. Why so daunting? "Cognitive science--the empirical studyof the mind--calls upon us to create a new, empirically responsiblephilosophy, a philosophy consistent with empirical discoveries aboutthe nature of mind," they write. "A serious appreciation of cognitivescience requires us to rethink philosophy from the beginning, in a waythat would put it more in touch with the reality of how we think." Inother words, no Platonic forms, no Cartesian mind-body duality, noKantian pure logic. Even Noam Chomsky's generative linguistics isrevealed under scrutiny to have substantial problems.

Parts of Philosophy in the Flesh retrace the ground covered inthe authors' earlier Metaphors We LiveBy, which revealed how we deal with abstract concepts throughmetaphor. (The previous sentence, for example, relies on the metaphors"Knowledge is a place" and "Knowing is seeing" to make its point.)Here they reveal the metaphorical underpinnings of basic philosophicalconcepts like time, causality--even morality--demonstrating how thesemetaphors are rooted in our embodied experiences. They reproposephilosophy as an attempt to perfect such conceptual metaphors so thatwe can understand how our thought processes shape our experience; theyeven make a tentative effort toward rescuing spirituality from theheavy blows dealt by the disproving of the disembodied mind or "soul"by reimagining "transcendence" as "imaginative empathetic projection."Their source list is helpfully arranged by subject matter, making iteasier to follow up on their citations. If you enjoyed the mentalworkout from Steven Pinker's How the MindWorks, Lakoff and Johnson will, to pursue the "Learning isexercise" metaphor, take you to the next level of training. --RonHogan ... Read more

Customer Reviews (41)

2-0 out of 5 stars I think this book is a frustrated persons egotistical assumption that they have it all figured out
This writer isn't explaining anything new. I feel like he takes other philosophers ideas for being as dry as his are. Its like this guy at my work who feels important by obsessing over meaningless tasks that no one cares about and making them his whole world. Hope people aren't this hard on my book! Seriously i think what i've been writing is going to rock this world, but I'm doing it by proving all the greats before me right, not by saying that they were missing something. Who is this guy to make such dry assumptions about kant.. I'm 20 years old and havent been doing this philosophy thing for too long, but i'm pretty sure that I'm right in my judgment of this book. The most illogical part about this book is its stress on the influence of the unconcsious when the whole book is written from a mathematical linguistic standpoint that through the writers own logic could never come close to the true complexity of our unconcious conceptions. We need society, we need ordinary language, we need love, and we need the ego to be able to truly communicate our conceptions. Because those things use the unconcious, and therefore much, much, much more of our mental capacity. The logic of the book is so contradictory. Honestly I hope I'm wrong about all this, I hope that the current world of philosophy is not as dull as i feel it is. I hope I'm a naive kid.

4-0 out of 5 stars we can't escape the cave
This book presents an in-depth analysis of philosophy based on modern findings in cognitive science. Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Kant, and others are put under the microscope, dissected, and ultimately refuted. Which isn't terribly surprising, given the fact that Western philosophy consists largely of a priori reasoning, rather than actual observation and experimentation. The major axioms of Western philosophy are dealt with in depth. They include: humans see the world as it is, objectively, without mental bias; reason is an objective feature of the universe that inherently organizes and structures things, independent of our minds; human reason is essentially different than the rest of the human body, and is functionally separate from it; conscious thought constitutes the entire mind, and as such knows all that is happening in the mind. These are not just major aspects of philosophy but deep assumptions held by most people. Lakoff and Johnson make a very compelling case that these assumptions are scientifically false. Therefore "philosophy will never be the same."

Philosophy in the flesh--that is, philosophy guided by science--leads to the philosophically important conclusion that humans can't escape the cave. That is to say, we can't transcend our physical embodiment (as Plato wished for so deeply, and as religious people all over the world believe happens after death). For cognitive science has discovered that our mental abilities are actually the products of our physical brains. So, sadly, when our brains die, we also die, because we are our brains. The most striking evidence that supports this view consists of the many cognitive pathologies that have been studied and documented throughout the years. This book, however, doesn't really discuss such evidence. Instead, it presents Lakoff's signature theory that reason itself is limited just like our bodies--that, in fact, it is based on our embodied experience and can only understand the world in specific embodied ways. The essence of his argument is that abstract thought is fundamentally metaphoric, and that the metaphors we use are based on our bodies and our experience as humans living in the world. This is dramatically different than Plato's divine, transcendent Reason spelled with a capital R. To illustrate, take Plato's cave: notice that Plato's entire description of the non-physical realm of truth is based on concrete, body-based metaphors. Realizing transcendent truth is akin to *seeing* the *sun*, and the process of coming to realize the truth is akin to *walking* out of a *cave*. The metaphors here are: understanding is seeing, the truth is the sun, the process of realization is walking upwards, ignorance of reality is being in a dark place. You can see here that reasoning about transcendent things is only possible by using knowledge of physical, perceptible, thoroughly non-transcendent things.

The idea that humans cannot attain transcendent knowledge, and that abstract thought is based on metaphor, leads to interesting types of debate. The authors, who are vocally liberal (too liberal in my opinion, hence only 4 stars), take many opportunities to criticize the metaphors employed by more conservative thought. For example, they argue that game theory is based on faulty metaphors and consequently does not provide a legitimate view of human behavior. They contend that even mathematics is constrained by metaphor and fails to give humans an objective view of the world. I thought they went a bit far when they argued that the theory of relativity only works because certain metaphors "allow" it to. I am inclined to believe that mathematics is a tool that allows humans to figure out objective things about reality.

4-0 out of 5 stars Excellent alternate viewpoint on various philosophy, religion issues
It's a long book but kept me interested through the whole read.The authors break down various language, philsophy and religious approaches into the component metaphors. The authors definitely have their own preferred metaphors to promote (the nurturing parent metaphor for society, the embodied spiritualism or immanent god metaphor for spiritualism) but this doesn't detract much from the book overall and in some sense it's good to know their preferences.

5-0 out of 5 stars A revolution
This is a refreshing view of the mind. The thesis in this book makes so much sense and the implications are such that reading it is a true thrilling experince.

5-0 out of 5 stars Linguistic and Philosophy together.
This is a scholarly work with all the bases covered.What Western Philosophy is from Descartes to Kant to modern philosophy and how this changes things.

The linguistics and philosophy are both presented in very accessible language so that no background in either is a prerequisite.It is a very readable work for the non-scholar.

Good read.

... Read more

7. Stoic Warriors: The Ancient Philosophy behind the Military Mind
by Nancy Sherman
Paperback: 256 Pages (2007-03-19)
list price: US$15.95 -- used & new: US$15.92
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Asin: 019531591X
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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While few soldiers may have read the works of Epictetus or Marcus Aurelius, it is undoubtedly true that the ancient philosophy known as Stoicism guides the actions of many in the military.Soldiers and seamen learn early in their training "to suck it up," to endure, to put aside their feelings and to get on with the mission.
Stoic Warriors is the first book to delve deeply into the ancient legacy of this relationship, exploring what the Stoic philosophy actually is, the role it plays in the character of the military (both ancient and modern), and its powerful value as a philosophy of life. Marshalling anecdotes from military history--ranging from ancient Greek wars to World War II, Vietnam, and Iraq--Nancy Sherman illuminates the military mind and uses it as a window on the virtues of the Stoic philosophy, which are far richer and more interesting than our popularized notions. Sherman--a respected philosopher who taught at the US Naval Academy--explores the deep, lasting value that Stoicism can yield, in issues of military leadership and character; in the Stoic conception of anger and its control (does a warrior need anger to go to battle?); and in Stoic thinking about fear and resilience, grief and mourning, and the value of camaraderie and brotherhood. Sherman concludes by recommending a moderate Stoicism, where the task for the individual, both civilian and military, youth and adult, is to temper control with forgiveness, and warrior drive and achievement with humility and humor.
Here then is a perceptive investigation of what makes Stoicism so compelling not only as a guiding principle for the military, but as a philosophy for anyone facing the hardships of life. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (13)

3-0 out of 5 stars It never really comes together
With this book Dr. Sherman has taken on a vitally important and difficult task - an exploration of the philosophical and psychological underpinnings of military mind and culture.In my opinion what is best about this book is the thorough and expert scholarship.What is lacking, perhaps, could be integration.The views of the Stoics are carefully and faithfully represented.Some insightful accounts of military culture and the psychology and behavior of soldiers are provided.Sometimes, it is pointed out, the two match up pretty well.Other times, it is argued, they probably shouldn't match up (even if they do in fact).What I took away from this book was a better understanding of Stoicism as a philosophy, some interesting insights into military life, and a sort of hazy idea of what they have to do with each other.I found this book interesting and informative, but not very compelling.

The Capacity to Govern: A Report to the Club of Rome

Crazy States: A Counterconventional Strategic Problem

This book is strongly recommended for all political leaders. Its big advantage is that the book deals with the "mind", behavior coming second. This is correct because the mind of leaders is what matters and what shapes behavior, while being neglected and also ignored by most books presuming to advise leaders.

The book focuses on issues of character and ethics in both a profound and practical way, thus being both enlightening and educational.

Based on close readings of some of the main stoic thinkers in Rome who had political experience makes the book all the more relevant to present political leaders, while demonstrating that study of some of the classics is more relevant to real contemporary issues than many "current affairs" books.

The one chapter with which I partly disagree is the last one proposing respect of enemies as human beings. This is true when "ordinary" enemies are concerned. But the author fails to address the real problem how to cope with totally evil actors, such as Nazi genocide managers and fanatics on the way to mass killings. Had the author taken up that issue than the last chapter would be deeper and more realistic.

Yehezkel Dror
The Hebrew Univesity of Jerusalem

3-0 out of 5 stars Good topic, solid anecdotes, great concept, moderately executed
Great concept, as I was lured to this book while buying some Seneca and a past history of military study, but comes up a bit short on readability. Though I want to like the anecdotal pieces about Stockdale and others, for instance, the academic sections don't mesh well with the military stories and analogies.

2-0 out of 5 stars Stoic Warriors is not Stoic
This book is interesting, and far more readable than most books on philosophy. But, for those who have actually studied Stoic philosophy, there is a problem. Thatproblem is that the book does not do a very good job of presenting the teaching of Stoicism, and it is difficult to avoid the conclusion that the author does not much like Stoicism.

A major problem is that the author, Nancy Sherman, is an Aristotelian, and clearly has little sympathy for, or understanding of, Stoic philosophy. For instance, she many times criticizes Stoic teaching on emotions, such as anger, as impossible to apply to the problems of military personal. But she neglects to mention that the Stoics never claimed that Stoic philosophy was a simple pill that could quickly solve problems without the time necessary for real change, and a re-evaluation of values.

It seems, in fact, that Ms Sherman may not have taken enough time to understand Stoic philosophy in depth.

3-0 out of 5 stars An academic attempts to comprehend the soldier's nature
Being fair to Professor Sherman is important in the context of reading and reviewing this exercise in academic philsophical thought. One has to rid themself of the image of a smug academic, wrapped in the iron belief of her own infinite knowledge, holding forth on a subject she can only describe as an outsider.

Thus, "Stoic Warriors" must be viewed, I believe, in the same vein as a treatise on brain surgery I might write should be viewed: the account of an observer with no actual experience and subject to errors of perception. Think the Lilliputians as they attempt to comprehend Gulliver.

Sherman somehow came to occupy the Distinguished Chair in Ethics at the United States Naval Academy for two years. Her attempt is to view the modern American soldier in light of Stoic philosophy. It would have helped immensely if Prof. Sherman had left all the leftist views common to academia at the door when she began her quest.

As she puts it, "so much of [her] understanding of the military has come from storytelling of military men and women." And those stories may have been true or not. More importantly, Sherman's focus might have been sharper on any story that reflected badly on the military or current administration. While Sherman is not as blunt as some othe academics, her very basic contempt for military force as an instrument of natioynal policy is evident. This makes reading her dissertation , well, an academic exercise, with little inherent value. But it must be said that Prof. Sherman does try. Unfortunately, in my eyes, she is far, far away fros understanding the Stoicism she attempts to apply. You cannot be one of the "touchy-feely" generation and understand Stoicism. Marcus Aurelius, I think, would have doubled over in laughter at this attempt.

Where convenient to her point, Sherman simply tosses aside Stoic doctrine. For example, in her chapter "Permission To Grieve," Sherman can't abide the idea of a soldier not feeling deep grief at the loss of comrades, so she simply dismisses her conflict with the ancient Stoics by dismissing even a watered down doctrine as demanding too much control of us. I guess philosophy is like the fabled Chinese restaurants of old: pick one from Column A, one from Column B. If the very words of Marcus Aurelius and Cicero don't support your allegedly expert point of view, just tell the original Stoics to take a hike. Academia: you simply gotta love it.

Her hostility to the conflict in Iraq does not lend credibility to her argument. One of her late chapters concerns the so-called scandal at Abu-Gharib. You can practically see her salivating at the prospect of administration officials being hauled away in chains. Unfortunately her description of events turns out to be markedly different than what appears to have actually occurred, but if you'll recall, The New York Times ran story after story about the Ugly Americans at Abu-Gharib without restraining themselves. Sherman obviously consumed such stories. She repeats the canard that now Attorney General Alberto Gonzales "approved" the use of torture. She also falls for the common misapprehension of the left that the Geneva Conventions capture all combatants in a conflict of any kind. She is mistaken on this.

As I said, Sherman makes an earnest effort to apply the bits and pieces of Stoic philosophy to the American military. She fails, but her attempt is not uninteresting nor entirely without merit. Despite all of her failings, she has produced a work of interest to the military historian, but it is not because she reaches her intended objective: rather it is because she does include a number of interesting stories which she then interprets to conform to her views.


... Read more

8. Simulating Minds: The Philosophy, Psychology, and Neuroscience of Mindreading (Philosophy of Mind)
by Alvin I. Goldman
Paperback: 384 Pages (2008-05-02)
list price: US$19.95 -- used & new: US$16.10
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Asin: 0195369831
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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People are minded creatures; we have thoughts, feelings and emotions. More intriguingly, we grasp our own mental states, and conduct the business of ascribing them to ourselves and others without instruction in formal psychology. How do we do this? And what are the dimensions of our grasp of the mental realm? In this book, Alvin I. Goldman explores these questions with the tools of philosophy, developmental psychology, social psychology and cognitive neuroscience. He refines an approach called simulation theory, which starts from the familiar idea that we understand others by putting ourselves in their mental shoes. Can this intuitive idea be rendered precise in a philosophically respectable manner, without allowing simulation to collapse into theorizing? Given a suitable definition, do empirical results support the notion that minds literally create (or attempt to create) surrogates of other peoples mental states in the process of mindreading? Goldman amasses a surprising array of evidence from psychology and neuroscience that supports this hypothesis. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars A thorough inquiry into mental simulation theory
In «Simulating Minds», his ninth and latest book, Alvin Goldman provides a comprehensive survey of the principal theories devised to explain the mind's ability to ascribe mental states to other minds as well as to itself. Minds --human and to all appearances those of other intelligent fellow creatures-- possess the capability not only of having mental states (things such as notions, emotions and sensations) but of conceiving that other individuals or organisms are equally capable of having their own mental states. This more complex, second-order activity is referred to in psychology as mentalizing or mindreading.

Mindreading seems to be essential for the development and functioning of complex social organization. The question arises as to how the brain accomplishes mindreading. Goldman discusses several variants of the three main competing views that purport to explain the neurocognitive processes thought to underlie mindreading: theorizing, rationalizing, and simulating. The theorizing approach posits that people employ naïve (folk psychology) theories to guide them in assessing what others think or mentally experience. People then impute mental states to others based on those naïve theories. The rationalizing approach states that people assume others are as rational as they themselves are and thus infer the other person's mental contents by an exercise of rational deduction. The simulation approach holds that people try to replicate (emulate) the target's mental states in their own mind based on perceived behavioral cues and their own prior experiences. Specifically, the mind reader deploys his or her emotive and cognitive apparatus to simulate the target's perceived (or perhaps, imagined) situation and thus intuitively feel what the target should (or would) be experiencing. "Thus," asserts Goldman, "mindreading is an extended form of empathy."

Goldman then provides a very clear articulation of the theoretical construct of simulation followed by discussions of simulation theory's principal rivals: rationality theory, child-scientist theory, and modularity theory. He then conducts in-depth analyses of the hybrid simulation model he favors (one that admits a role for theorizing, although secondary to the default simulation approach). He supports his position with a wide range of evidence, including well-replicated findings from the neuroscience literature. The book closes with an examination of the relationship between simulational propensities and the distinctively social traits which characterize human experience.

This book provides an excellent account of simulation theory as well as the competing perspectives. It should be of major interest to researchers in philosophy of mind, cognitive neuroscience, and social psychology. Lay readers with a strong interest in cognitive science should also find the book a worthwhile read given the clarity and accessibility of the exposition.

5-0 out of 5 stars An excellent example of indisciplinary work in philosophy and psychology
In this book Alvin Goldman develops a highly significant thesis - an account of how we understand other minds. This thesis is significant not just because it addresses classical philosophical problems, but also because it has serious implications for scientific research.
Alvin Goldman is a highly accomplished philosopher. In this book he ventures into new waters - surveying research in psychology and neuroscience. He grasps the empirical literature and weighs the evidence with a competence that matches that of a highly accomplished scientist. In doing so he puts most other 'interdisciplinary' philosophers to shame.
This is an exemplary work of both philosophy and theoretical psychology. This work sets an example that can and should serve as a model for modern, interdisciplinary, philosophy of mind. ... Read more

9. Philosophy of Mind: A Guide and Anthology
Paperback: 936 Pages (2004-01-08)
list price: US$59.95 -- used & new: US$41.77
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Asin: 0199253838
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Edited by a renowned scholar in the field, this anthology provides a comprehensive and self-contained introduction to the philosophy of mind. Featuring an extensive and varied collection of fifty classical and contemporary readings, it also offers substantial section introductions--which set the extracts in context and guide readers through them--discussion questions, and guides to further reading. Ideal for undergraduate courses, the book is organized into twelve sections, providing instructors with flexibility in designing and teaching a variety of courses. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great book!
This is a great book. Required for my class. You can probably find this book a few bucks cheaper. I rather pay the extra dough and save on time and hassle wasted like waiting in line during the beginning days of school or waiting for the auction to end or hoping the seller ships your book to get it beforethe beginning weeks of class. Just save time and sanity and purchase from amazon.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great read!
This book provides an exellent introduction to the subject concerning the nauture of the mind, pursued from a philisophical perspective.The collage of thought assembled by John Heil provides a balanced approach to the subject including influential authors from various schools of thought.

4-0 out of 5 stars boc maxima on platform shoes
I bought this lengthy anthology because of its size, the range of topics covered (that are nicely categorized in the contents) and the price. But a lot of the articles are abridged which is extremely irritating. In favor of the book, it includes the canonical works of Kripke, Davidson, Burge, Smart, Putnam, Block, Fodor, Lewis, Kim, Searle, Jackson, and Block. Unfortunately however the papers included under the section on functionalism were poorly chosen with the exception of Putnam's.

Heil gives a brief introduction to each section which can prove to be helpful and it sets the mood and gives the general idea behind the arguments and theories. I found them helpful. ... Read more

10. The Disordered Mind: An Introduction to Philosophy of Mind and Mental Illness
by George Graham
 Hardcover: 304 Pages (2010-02-25)
list price: US$140.00 -- used & new: US$108.00
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Asin: 0415774713
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"George Graham is contemporary philosophy’s most gifted and humane writer. The Disordered Mind is a wise, deep, and thorough inquiry into the nature of the human mind and the various ‘creaks, cracks, and crevices’ into which it is prone sometimes to wander."

Owen Flanagan, Duke University, USA

"The book is a success, it is consistently insightful and humane, and conveys a clear understanding not only of relevant philosophical topics, but also of a much more difficult issue, the relevance of those topics to understanding mental illness."

Philip Gerrans, University of Adelaide, Australia

"The Disordered Mind is a must read for anyone who is a psychiatrist, psychologist, philosopher, neurologist, or mental health worker. Indeed, it is a must read for any thoughtful person who simply desires to understand more deeply and more realistically the workings of their own mind as well as the workings of the human mind in general."

Richard Garrett, Bentley University, USA


Mental disorder raises profound questions about the nature of the mind. The Disordered Mind: An Introduction to Philosophy of Mind and Mental Illness is the first book to systematically examine and explain, from a philosophical standpoint, what mental disorder is: its reality, causes, consequences, and more. It is also an outstanding introduction to philosophy of mind from the perspective of mental disorder.

Each chapter explores a central question or problem about mental disorder, including:

  • What is mental disorder and can it be distinguished from neurological disorder?
  • What roles should reference to psychological, cultural, and social factors play in the medical/scientific understanding of mental disorder?
  • What makes mental disorders undesirable? Are they diseases?
  • Mental disorder and the mind–body problem
  • Is mental disorder a breakdown of rationality? What is a rational mind?
  • Addiction, responsibility and compulsion
  • Ethical dilemmas posed by mental disorder, including questions of dignity and self-respect.

Each topic is clearly explained and placed in both a clinical and philosophical context. Mental disorders discussed include clinical depression, dissociative identity disorder, anxiety, religious delusions, and paranoia. Several non-mental neurological disorders that possess psychological symptoms are also examined, including Alzheimer’s disease, Down’s syndrome, and Tourette’s syndrome. Additional features, such as chapter summaries and annotated further reading, provide helpful tools for those coming to the subject for the first time.

Throughout, George Graham draws expertly on issues that cut across philosophy, science, and psychiatry. As such, The Disordered Mind is a superb introduction to the philosophy of mental disorder for students of philosophy, psychology, psychiatry, and related mental health professions.

George Graham is Professor of Philosophy and Neuroscience at Georgia State University, USA, and a past president of the Society for Philosophy and Psychology. He is co-author and co-editor of the Oxford Textbook of Philosophy and Psychiatry (2006).



... Read more

11. Philosophy of Mind: A Beginner's Guide
by Ian Ravenscroft
Paperback: 216 Pages (2005-04-28)
list price: US$39.95 -- used & new: US$27.86
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Asin: 0199252548
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Designed specifically for students with no background knowledge in the subject, this accessible introduction covers all of the basic concepts and major theories in the philosophy of mind. Topics discussed include dualism, behaviorism, the identity theory, functionalism, the computational theory of mind, connectionism, physicalism, mental causation, and consciousness. The text is enhanced by chapter summaries, a glossary, suggestions for further reading, and self-assessment questions. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars The only intro that covers all the contemporary bases
(4 1/2 STARS)This is the only Philosophy of Mind intro book that covers all of the big debates in current philosophy of mind.You don't find many intro books mentioning debates about access consciousness and mental causation, for example.(i.e. the more recent mental causation debate involving Kim et al., not the Cartesian debate.)It's very well organized by topic, and clearly written.But it moves pretty fast, and I think it therefore might not be suitable for a complete newcomer to the topic, at least not as the only intro book someone reads.Rather, a newcomer should read several intro books... but DEFINITELY make this one of them.

[Note that one might argue Kim's "Philosophy of Mind" is an intro book that covers all the contemporary debates, but I think that book is too difficult to be considered an intro book for newcomers.]

5-0 out of 5 stars Great book!
This is a great book. Required for my class. You can probably find this book a few bucks cheaper. I rather pay the extra dough and save on time and hassle wasted like waiting in line during the beginning days of school or waiting for the auction to end or hoping the seller ships your book to get it beforethe beginning weeks of class. Just save time and sanity and purchase from amazon. ... Read more

12. The Philosophy of Animal Minds
Hardcover: 320 Pages (2009-10-12)
list price: US$85.00 -- used & new: US$74.29
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Asin: 0521885027
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This volume is a collection of fourteen new essays by leading philosophers on issues concerning the nature, existence, and our knowledge of animal minds. The nature of animal minds has been a topic of interest to philosophers since the origins of philosophy, and recent years have seen significant philosophical engagement with the subject. However, there is no volume that represents the current state of play in this important and growing field. The purpose of this volume is to highlight the state of the debate. The issues which are covered include whether and to what degree animals think in a language or in iconic structures, possess concepts, are conscious, self-aware, metacognize, attribute states of mind to others, and have emotions, as well as issues pertaining to our knowledge of and the scientific standards for attributing mental states to animals. ... Read more

13. Phenomenology and Philosophy of Mind
Hardcover: 336 Pages (2005-12-08)
list price: US$110.00 -- used & new: US$109.74
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Asin: 0199272441
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Philosophical work on the mind flowed in two streams through the 20th century: phenomenology and analytic philosophy. This volume aims to bring them together again, by demonstrating how work in phenomenology may lead to significant progress on problems central to current analytic research, and how analytical philosophy of mind may shed light on phenomenological concerns. Leading figures from both traditions contribute specially written essays on such central topics as consciousness, intentionality, perception, action, self-knowledge, temporal awareness, and mental content. Phenomenology and Philosophy of Mind demonstrates that these different approaches to the mind should not stand in opposition to each other, but can be mutually illuminating. ... Read more

14. The Phenomenological Mind: An Introduction to Philosophy of Mind and Cognitive Science
by Shaun Gallagher, Dan Zahavi
Hardcover: 256 Pages (2008-01-28)
list price: US$120.00 -- used & new: US$103.48
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Asin: 0415391210
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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The Phenomenological Mind is the first book to properly introduce fundamental questions about the mind from the perspective of phenomenology. Key questions and topics covered include:

  • What is phenomenology?
  • naturalizing phenomenology and the empirical cognitive sciences
  • phenomenology and consciousness
  • consciousness and self-consciousness, including perception and action
  • time and consciousness, including William James
  • intentionality
  • the embodied mind
  • action
  • knowledge of other minds
  • situated and extended minds
  • phenomenology and personal identity

Interesting and important examples are used throughout, including phantom limb syndrome, blindsight and self-disorders in schizophrenia, making The Phenomenological Mind an ideal introduction to key concepts in phenomenology, cognitive science and philosophy of mind.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars A good introduction
Although the language is a little advanced for anyone unfamiliar with analytic philosophy, this book is an accessible introduction to phenomenology from the perspective of analytic philosophy of mind.It presents new issues by reformatting valuable phenomenological ideas in terms that are easy for an analytical philosopher to understand and work with.I am working on a thesis project on phenomenology and I am an analytical philosopher, I found this book extremely helpful. ... Read more

15. Running and Philosophy: A Marathon for the Mind (Philosophy for Everyone)
Paperback: 226 Pages (2007-10-29)
list price: US$21.95 -- used & new: US$11.77
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Asin: 1405167971
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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A unique anthology of essays exploring the philosophical wisdom runners contemplate when out for a run. It features writings from some of America’s leading philosophers, including Martha Nussbaum, Charles Taliaferro, and J.P. Moreland.

  • A first-of-its-kind collection of essays exploring those gems of philosophical wisdom runners contemplate when out for a run
  • Topics considered include running and the philosophy of friendship; the freedom of the long distance runner; running as aesthetic experience, and “Could a Zombie Run a Marathon?”
  • Contributing essayists include philosophers with athletic experience at the collegiate level, philosophers whose pasttime is running, and one philosopher who began running to test the ideas in his essay
... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great book
Very inspiring and thought provoking. Not only gets your foot out the door but your mind is no longer lazy either! Must read for all thinker/runners.

5-0 out of 5 stars Two different activities that complement each other greatly!
Though I have read very few pop culture & philosophy books all the way through, this is one of the best ones I have read. Not only do many of the essays connect to well known philosophers and ideas, but many other essays seem very original in their thesis and their conclusions. The best part about this book, though, is that nearly all of essays are easily relatable as anyone who has ever done even a short mile or 5K race can instantly understand what the author is talking about when they mention something about running. It doesn't hurt that many of the best authors seem to be runners themselves and imbue their essays with their own personal experiences. However, at times the book suffers from what many pop culture & philosophy books suffer from: essays and ideas that are not explained very well and go way over the heads of the readers. One essay in particular started talking about "zombies" without explaining what he was talking about. It took me half of the essay to figure out what he meant. Overall, while this book won't make you a better runner or be as necessary as a good pair of running shoes, but the topics discussed will keep you thinking on those long runs.

4-0 out of 5 stars Food for thought
Philosophy is the key word in the title. I'm not a philosophic guy generally speaking. The book is made up of many different philosophical view points and then they are equated to running. I think it would be an outstanding resource if I find myself taking Philosophy 101 and have to show how philosophy can effect my daily life.
That being said, I did find many of the essays thought provoking, and I was able to really think about them on my runs. Some of the subject matter and tag lines even became part of my blog posts about running.
It you are looking for something deeper to think about while you are running, or need something to help your motivation, it is an excellent choice.

5-0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking, time well spent
I picked up this book at the perfect time and that is why I am giving it 5 stars.I originally got into running like a lot of people in high school as part of the cross country team.I only ran cross country as a way to get in shape for basketball season.After high school I stopped running and did not pick up the sport again until after my Step-father was diagnosed with cancer.He was a big time runner and had a 10 year streak of competing in a local 13.1 mile race.So I stepped in to run in his place to keep the streak alive.After his passing, I ran my first marathon in his memory and in the process found out a lot about myself.I have been running ever since, taking on 5K, 5 milers, halfs and marathons, all the while becoming more engrossed in the sport of running as well as the psychology behind it.As a child running is as natural as breathing, then at some point it became a chore and now it gives me the time and space I need to think in our modern world.This book simply shares the thoughts of others who have found similar insights from running.Happy trails.

5-0 out of 5 stars Fun, Challenging, Motivating
This is one of the best books in the whole philosophy and pop culture genre.

For philosophers, the essays feel like they come very naturally out of the topic. They are wide-ranging but all grounded in running--no stretches to get the philosophy in. It's as effortless as a comfortable pace can be.

For runners, there is an informative development of ideas that you've probably started to have in your own running, but haven't seen through this far.

Fun, challenging, motivating. ... Read more

16. Philosophy of Mind and Cognition: An Introduction
by David Braddon-Mitchell, Frank Jackson
Paperback: 344 Pages (2006-11-27)
list price: US$40.95 -- used & new: US$24.56
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Asin: 1405133244
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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David Braddon-Mitchell and Frank Jackson’s popular introduction to philosophy of mind and cognition is now available in a fully revised and updated edition.

  • Ensures that the most recent developments in the philosophy of mind and cognitive science are brought together into a coherent, accessible whole.

  • Revisions respond to feedback from students and teachers and make the volume even more useful for courses.

  • New material includes: a section on Descartes’ famous objection to materialism; extended treatment of connectionism; coverage of the view that psychology is autonomous; fuller discussion of recent debates over phenomenal experience; and much more.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

3-0 out of 5 stars Braddon-Mitchell's Student of Philosophy of the Mind
I feel more than able to comment on this book, as a current student of Braddon-Mitchell's - Philosophy of the Mind course, run at the University of Sydney, Australia. Not only that, but I'm using it as a reference this instant in writing some research material.

This is of course a good reference for students but it has its flaws. I would not wholeheartedly recommend it to the novice philosopher or undergrad student. Not before browsing some other materials.

The book itself is based almost wholly on the way that David would run his course. In fact it does, they mirror one another almost totally. I have followed the course and examined the book and they coincide more than neatly. Whilst this is essentially dynamic, this is where its imperfections may show themselves.

As a lecturer might, there is philosophical bias and a tendency to forget that the subject matter itself is not independent. One might feel at times, that you are being taught the Right theory. There are critiques, but standing from an established point of analysis. I do not feel that it is engaging as Braddon-Mitchell is in his courses and certainly, it can be swamped in some vague sentences. It will require close reading or a good background in the discipline.

It is comprehensive book though, very in depth and reaching to the full extent, matters of cognition. I provide my criticism not to attack the book, but often with reviews, all that is mentioned is its content.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Psychology Undergraduate's View
Rather than treating Philosophy and Psychology as diverse subjects it is quite refreshing to see that there are still authors who introduce the subject of the mind to students of Psychology as the deep and absorbingsubject that it really is, and show that they do still walk hand in hand,no matter how scientific one of them may have become. Even though DavidBraddon-Mitchell and Frank Jackson appear to assume that their readers havea grounding in Philosophy as well as Psychology, they do so in a way whichwould encourage a mere novice to widen their knowledge, this will thereforemake the subject of Psychology far more interesting and forfilling, andthereby make the complicated subject of the Human Mind more clear. It isadditionally encouraging by the inclusion of a comprehensive glossary soeliminating over-referencing like other texts, but at the same time leadsinquisitive students into fresh fields where they can 'graze' on theklnowledge of the subject to their heart's content. Each school ofPhilosophy is clearly expalined and compared to it's sister, andsubjectively ctitisied. It moves from the pre-history of contemporaryPhilosophy of Mind - Dualism and Behaviourism, and early versions of theidentity theory of mind, through discussions on functionalism in its manyvarieties, consciousness and quili, instrumentalism and the autonomy ofPsychology, to topics such as eleminative materialism, individualism andthe problems of content and representation. The text according to theauthors, was viewed by students of the Philosophy of Psychology beforeprinting, this gives an air of originality to the book, which in turn wouldbe an ideal undertaking for other authors of literature relating to theever complex subject of Psychology. The nature and level of the discussionwithin the covers of the book make it and ideal foundation for anyundergraduate, and graduate, course in both Psychology and Philosophy. Thisbook is an up-to-date introduction to, and account of, the transition ofPhilosophy from a dry and sometimes non-understandable subject to acognitive science where investigation of theories is possible. It clearlyprovides students of Psychology, and Philosophy, with a clear and coherantpicture of the human mind, which can only be expanded. ... Read more

17. Philosophy of Mind: A Contemporary Introduction (Routledge Contemporary Introductions to Philosophy)
by John Heil
Paperback: 280 Pages (2004-07-01)
list price: US$35.95 -- used & new: US$27.55
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Asin: 0415283566
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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This comprehensive and leading textbook has been revised and reworked building on the themes of the first edition. As before it covers all aspects of the nature of mind, and is ideal for anyone coming to philosophy of mind for the first time. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars It Usually Begins With Descartes
PHILOSOPHY OF MIND is one of Routledge's "Contemporary Introduction to Philosophy" series.Although there are other similar series, this is my favorite because the contributions are particularly comprehensive.

Professor Heil's work is no exception.This book takes as its point of departure (like most such works it seems) Descartes' approach to the mind/body problem.Prof. Heil then discusses important philosophical and psychological approaches (Watson and Skinner, for example) to the philosophy of mind.

The work discusses some of the questions that are often left out of introductory works on the topic, such as artificial intelligence and biological evolution.This book can be used by someone who is a beginner, or someone who is familiar with the basic issues in philosophy but wishes to get a better understanding of the issues.

I've just finished reading Stanley Jaki's BRAIN, MIND AND COMPUTERS which discusses many of these issue from a broader theological and philosophical perspective.I think the bookscomplement each other quite well. ... Read more

18. The Philosophy of Mind (Studies in Philosophy, SPH 9)
by Alan R. White
 Paperback: 190 Pages (1967)

Asin: B0006BQ7OQ
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A study on the problems of philosophy. ... Read more

19. With All Your Mind: A Christian Philosophy of Education
by Michael L. Peterson
 Paperback: 272 Pages (2001-11-28)
list price: US$25.00 -- used & new: US$20.65
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Asin: 0268019681
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Christian Thinkers -- Be Encouraged!
This book is a tour de force for Prof. Peterson.He details many philosophies that are competing for the allegiance of America's intellectuals and educated laymen/laywomen. Probably one should already have some background in philosophy in order to properly understand his opening chapters analyzing naturalism, experimentalism, idealism, Thomistic realism, existentialism, and other theories of human nature, existence, the knowability of reality, deconstructivism and a host of other complex subjects.
I hope there are some people out there who have studied a lot of philosophy, who love philosophy, but never got into the academic mode. I am one of that "disenfranchised" crew who as a philosopher, and often as a Christian, feels marginalized by our materialistic society with its many non-Jesus-oriented philosophies, and I often feel alienated from Christians because many do not go into the conceptual depths with me. If you are in this position, you'll love the opening chapters, and go on happily to the end.((Even though philosophy should be digested slowly, I was so pleased, I read the book in one sitting.))
For other Christians who are not as gripped by philosophy and the history of ideas, I recommend that you just read the last two chapters which emphasize excellence in education.They make great stand alone reading, and, even if you're out of work and low on funds, they are worth the price of the entire book.

Anyone who likes the writings of E. Hirsch Jr., William Bennett, or David Noebbel will love this book. However, be forewarned: it is written at a higher level of rigor and has a more powerful vocabulary than any other popular theorists of education now on the market.

5-0 out of 5 stars Peterson puts "fun" back in fundamentalism
Anyone who would write Peterson off as a fundamentalist either hasn't done his research or is simply biased.This book needs to be read by more fundamentalists and others in Christian and secular cultures.Peterson is also a Kentucky fan.A fundamentalist Kentucky fan.That's the only time you'll hear Peterson's name mentioned alongside fundamentalism. ... Read more

20. Philosophy of Mind
by Dale Jacquette
Paperback: 166 Pages (1993-12-29)
list price: US$19.60 -- used & new: US$17.99
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Asin: 0130309338
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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This is a survey of important and contemporary topics in the philosophy of mind. It provides explanations of theories and criticism, illustrated with everyday examples, and outlines the strengths and weaknesses of each position considered by combining exposition with critical evaluation and countercriticisms from opposing points of view. There is a non-technical guide to relevant scientific literature, including artificial intelligence, connectionism and semantic networks. Solutions are also offered to longstanding problems in the philosophy of mind - the book outlines an alternative nonreductive property dualist theory of mind in contrast to standard eliminative or reductive functionalist or materialist theories. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars fits body to reality and fits mind to body
I have enjoyed the cogency of the author's arguments in this book, after having appreciated his writing style and irrefutable logic in his more recent "Ontology." This is NOT a two star book and most definitely NOT "very bad philosophy" as the other reviewer claims.

The previous reviewer must have missed the part where Jacquette firmly grounds the emergent mind in explicit materialism. It is there on page 19:

"The idea is that nonphysical properties may emerge from or supervene on material substance if they achieve a certain complexity, in somewhat the same way that life emerges evolutionarily from or supervenes on certain kinds of properly organized material substances."

And then on page 96:

"The aboutness or intrinsic intentionality of thought, and the ability to think and imagine whatever we like, to project nonexistent intended objects and states of affairs for consideration, distinguishes thought, mind, and the mental or psychological from behavioral-material-functional systems and states considered only as such. It confers a dignity on mind that we experience as freedom of will and action. If the mind is intentional, and if intentionality is an ineliminable, irreducible, and mechanically nonreplicable property of mind, then the mind is a new category of entity in the material world. Mind emerges naturally from living matter in complex biosystems at a comparatively late evolutionary stage. But, because of its intentionality, the mind is qualitatively different from nonmental, purely mechanical things."

In my opinion, that is good philosophy. Very good, indeed.

2-0 out of 5 stars Very bad philosophy.
I have read a lot of books, introductory and advanced, on the philosophy of mind, but I rarely review them. However, this book had some flaws that were just so evident that I felt I had a responsability to comment on them. But of course, I will not just shun the book and leave. Not everything that is flawed is useless. This book, far from being useless, is an adequate introduction to the philosophy of mind. But the author does not have this as his only goal, and also attempts to defend a property dualistic ontology of mind. He is also an emergentist, but here I have few objections. But emergentism itself is not incompatible with materialism, as the author seems to imply sometimes.

The book is short, easy to read, and covers the necessary ground for any begginer who wants to learn the generalso of philosophy of mind. There are chapters on the diferent types of dualism, materialism, philosophy of artificial intelligence and on intentionality. The author discusses classic and modern positions in all of these things, and makes it all clear and non-technical. The problem is that everytime he tries to attack some position or other, he simply does not seem to succeed. I mean, even Descartes's substance dualism is defensible form Jacquettes critique! Now to be more specific, I will limit myself to his main argument against materialism, for wich he concludes propery dualism is a better bet at expaining the ontology of mind.

The argument is roughly as follows (Pge 20): The mind has intentionallity. The body as such does not. Therefore the mind cannott be fully explained by alluding to purely physical (body) processes. Here the property of being intentional leads one to property dualism, according to Jacquette. Now anyone with any knowledge of philosophy of mind will quickly point out that the 2 premises can be attacked, as can the conclusion even when one accepts the validity of the premises. First, it is not clear why intentionality could not be explained physically. Jacquette begs the question in assuming that this is not possible. John Searle, for example, is a materialist, even though he accepts the importance of intentionality. So to say that the body as such can have no intentionality is begging the same question. And finally, the fact that mind and body might have diferent properties does not necessarily lead one to any kind of dualism, for the differences might be only in virtue of epistemistic access. That is, if one knows something by description instead of by aquaintance, one may believe one of these descriptions has a property that the other does not, even when they refer to the same things.(In fact, this is related to Jacksons knowledge argument, of which Jacquette talks inadequately). To illustrate my points, and to show to what extent Jaquettes discussion is incoherent look at this extract:

"conceivably...imput-output simulations of mind, in which physical syntax tokens casually interact with themselves in an apropiate...enviroment, might duplicate the brain's power to produce...intentional thought.." (pge 81).

Here the author accepts the posibility that intentionallity might be physically realizable after all! What happened to the intentionality argument?
The author gives no reason of why physicalism might be inadequate to explain the mind fully, and offers the worst defence of property dualism I have read yet. Nothing I have said can be taken to imply that physicalism is true, however. ... Read more

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