Mind, Matter, and Nature

Mind, Matter, and Nature

JAMES D. MADDEN
Copyright Date: 2013
Pages: 336
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt32b42m
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  • Book Info
    Mind, Matter, and Nature
    Book Description:

    Written for students, Mind, Matter, and Nature presumes no prior philosophical training on the part of the reader. The book nevertheless holds the arguments discussed to rigorous standards and is conversant with recent literature, thus making it useful as well to more advanced students and professionals interested in a resource on Thomistic hylomorphism in the philosophy of mind.

    eISBN: 978-0-8132-2142-7
    Subjects: Philosophy

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. PREFACE ANOTHER OPINIONATED INTRODUCTION TO THE PHILOSOPHY OF MIND
    (pp. ix-xvi)
  4. CHAPTER 1 NATURALISM AND THE PHILOSOPHY OF MIND
    (pp. 1-18)

    This book is both an introduction to the philosophy of mind and a critical reflection on the consequences of naturalism for our understanding of human nature. It is in fact quite difficult to separate recent philosophical discussions of the mind and the various versions of naturalism currently popular in the Western academy. “Given that naturalism is true, what sense can be made of the mind?” is really the question that most motivates many contemporary philosophers of mind. We do well then to begin our discussion by considering naturalism in some depth.

    Naturalism enjoys widespread acceptance among contemporary Western intellectuals, even...

  5. CHAPTER 2 THE CASE FOR DUALISM
    (pp. 19-57)

    In the last chapter we defined naturalism as the doctrine claiming that everything can in principle be explained physically, and we concluded that materialism is the most straightforward application of naturalism to the philosophy of mind. The materialist claims that if there are such things as psychological substances, states, acts, processes, properties, and the like, then they are material things not ontologically different from other nonpsychological entities. What generally goes by the title of “dualism” is a denial of materialism. Specifically, the dualist argues that psychological substances, states, acts, processes, and the like, are nonphysical or mental things, ontologically different...

  6. CHAPTER 3 THE CASE AGAINST DUALISM: THE PROBLEM OF MIND-BODY INTERACTION
    (pp. 58-87)

    In our last chapter we considered several valid (if their premises are true, then their conclusion likewise must be true) arguments for dualism, but their soundness (whether in addition to being valid the arguments have true premises) is something about which there can be legitimate disagreement. We concluded that even if these arguments do not rise to the standard of complete philosophical demonstration, it is not unreasonable for a dualist to justify her position on such grounds. Along the way we considered objections to some of the premises of the dualists’ arguments that we might expect materialists to introduce, which...

  7. CHAPTER 4 MATERIALISM
    (pp. 88-131)

    In the previous chapter we discussed a two-phased materialist strategy for defeating dualism. In the first phase, the materialist argues that dualism is false (or at least beyond reasonable belief). In the second phase, the materialist either argues that there are no such things as psychological states or constructs an account for our psychological states that does not take sensations and thoughts as nonphysical entities. We found that the first phase is not complete in any strong sense; that is, we don’t have good reason to conclude that dualism is beyond the pale. We did find, however, that the dualist...

  8. CHAPTER 5 PROBLEMS FOR MATERIALISM
    (pp. 132-168)

    In our last chapter we considered several philosophical approaches to psychological states that are at least consistent with materialism. On the one hand we considered eliminative materialism and logical behaviorism, but as we found those to be rather problematic, we will leave them aside in this chapter. On the other hand, we considered that various versions of the identity theory and functionalism enjoy a great deal more plausibility, and hereafter when I speak of materialism, I will have these sorts of positions in mind.¹ What these latter theories commonly claim is that when something has a sensation or thought, that...

  9. CHAPTER 6 EMERGENTISM AND NATURALISM
    (pp. 169-216)

    In the last two chapters, we considered the prospect of constructing a materialist version of naturalism, with particular regard to the mind-body problem. We found that materialists typically attempt either to eliminate psychological states (sensations and thoughts) entirely or identify them with straightforwardly physical entities, usually as features of the central nervous system. The most extreme of these materialist endeavors is eliminative materialism (the doctrine that mental events and substances should be rejected entirely as postulates of a now thoroughly refuted quasi-scientific theory) and logical behaviorism (the doctrine that all our words seemingly referring to psychological states can be translated...

  10. CHAPTER 7 BEFORE THE PHILOSOPHY OF MIND–THE PHILOSOPHY OF NATURE
    (pp. 217-249)

    Our discussion thus far might well amount to grounds for philosophical despair. The most promising versions of materialism cannot account for the reality of the qualitative aspect of our sensations, the intentional aspect of our thoughts, or the fact that we are intellectual and moral agents. The prospect of a naturalist, emergent property or substance dualism is not entirely without traction, but it is difficult to square with the broader metaphysical views held by most contemporary philosophers of mind, and there are strong arguments purporting to show that the universal aspect of thought and subsequently intellectual and moral agency cannot...

  11. CHAPTER 8 ARISTOTELIAN-HYLOMORPHIC PHILOSOPHY OF MIND
    (pp. 250-286)

    In the previous chapter, I presented Aristotelian hylomorphism as an alternative to mechanism, which is an unspoken assumption among many contemporary philosophers. You will remember that in chapter 2 I presented mechanism as the view that the full account of physical objects is given by the physical properties of the atoms that compose them and the relevant physical laws. Thus, according to the mechanist, the activities of any material substance (including human bodies) can be fully explained in terms of the physical properties of the atoms (fundamental physical particles) that compose them. Our discussion in the previous chapter shows the...

  12. BIBLIOGRAPHY
    (pp. 287-304)
  13. INDEX
    (pp. 305-308)
  14. Back Matter
    (pp. 309-309)