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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Original and Insightful, April 26, 2009
This book investigates knowledge arguments in the philosophy of mind and the philosophy of religion. The knowledge arguments in the philosophy of mind are arguments against materialism, and the knowledge arguments in the philosophy of religion are arguments against the existence of God. Nagasawa argues that none of these arguments are successful, and develops his own theory of the human mind and the divine mind.
The knowledge arguments in the philosophy of mind are the arguments of Nagel and Jackson. Very roughly, these arguments purport to show that we could know everything there is to know about the material brain without knowing everything about the subject's psychological states (particularly what it is like to be in conscious states), and conclude that there is more to such states than the material states of the brain.
The knowledge arguments in the philosophy of religion include an argument from Grim and various arguments about concept possession. Very roughly, these arguments purport to show that God could not know various facts because of his attributes (for example, his omnipotence precludes his knowing what fear is like). The arguments conclude that God could not be omniscient, and so could not exist.
Nagasawa first explains what makes an argument a knowledge argument, and why these arguments are knowledge arguments. He then presents the knowledge arguments in philosophy of religion and philosophy of mind and evaluates them by comparing and contrasting them. Finally, he argues that his criticisms support a novel theory, non-theoretical physicalism.
This book makes original and important contributions to philosophy of mind and philosophy of religion, and integrates work in these fields in insightful ways. The arguments are constructed very carefully, and the criticisms are powerful, though I do not agree with Nagasawa's non-theoretical physicalism. The book is well organized and the writing is clear and elegant.
This is an excellent book, and I recommend it highly to philosophy students and professional philosophers interested in the philosophy of mind and/or the philosophy of religion. Some sections may not be accessible to those without previous exposure to philosophy.
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God and Phenomenal Consciousness: A Novel Approach to Knowledge Arguments
God and Phenomenal Consciousness: A Novel Approach to Knowledge Arguments by Yujin Nagasawa (Hardcover - February 18, 2008)
$101.00 $40.40
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