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The Rediscovery of the Mind

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In this work, John Searle attacks current orthodoxies in the philosophy of mind. More than anything else, he argues, it is the neglect of consciousness that results in so much barrenness and sterility in psychology, the philosophy of mind, and cognitive science: there can be no study of mind that leaves out consciousness. The text argues that what is going on in the brain is nothing more than neurophysiological processes and consciousness. Beginning with a discussion of what's wrong with the philosophy of mind, Searle characterizes and refutes the philosophical tradition of materialism. But he does not embrace dualism. All these "isms" are mistaken, he insists. He elaborates a theory of consciousness and its relation to our overall scientific world view and to unconscious mental phenomena. He concludes with a criticism of cognitive science and a proposal for an approach to studying the mind that emphasizes the centrality of consciousness to any account of mental functioning. Searle identifies the very terminology of the field as the main source of truth. He observes that it is a mistake to suppose that the ontology of the mental is objective and to suppose that the methodology of a science of the mind must concern itself only with objectively observable behaviour; that it is also a mistake to suppose that we know of the existence of mental phenomena in others only by observing their behaviour; that behaviour or causal relations to behaviour are not essential to the existence of mental phenomena; and that it is inconsistent with what we know about the universe and our place in it to suppose that everything is knowable by us.
Product Details

Table of Contents

What's wrong with the philosophy of mind; the recent history of materialism - the same mistake over and over, appendix - is there a problem about folk psychology?; breaking the hold - silicon brains, conscious robots, and other minds; consciousness and its place in nature; reductionism and the irreducibility of consciousness; the structure of consciousness - an introduction; the unconscious and its relation to consciousness; consciousness, intentionality and the background; the critique of cognitive reason; the proper study.

Promotional Information

This is as entertaining as serious philosophy gets. -- Theodore Roszak New Scientist The computationalists have probably never had such a powerful challenge as this book. -- Anthony Gottlieb New York Times Book Review

About the Author

Nick Chater is Professor of Psychology at the University of Warwick and Director of the Institute for Applied Cognitive Science.


"This is as entertaining as serious philosophy gets." Theodore Roszak, New Scientist "The computationalists have probably never had such a powerful challenge as this book." Anthony Gottlieb, New York Times Book Review

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