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Philosophy of Mind (A Beginner's Guide) Paperback – October 20, 2006


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 280 pages
  • Publisher: Oneworld Publications; Revised edition (October 20, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9781851684786
  • ISBN-13: 978-1851684786
  • ASIN: 1851684786
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.6 x 7.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #136,342 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Charles Taliaferro - Professor of Philosophy, St Olaf College, Minnesota"A splendid, highly accessible and lucid introduction. The arguments are engaging and provide a refreshing challenge to some of the conventional assumptions in the field."David Oderberg - Professor of Philosophy, University of Reading, UK"Tightly written and admirably clear... Fesar covers just the right topics, and does so judiciously and fairly... a refreshing, provocative, and important addition to the introductory books in philosophy of mind. It should appear on every reading list."

About the Author

Edward Feser teaches philosophy at Pasadena City College, California. He is the author of On Nozick and editor of The Cambridge Companion to Hayek.

Customer Reviews

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Edward Feser's book is a fine introduction to the contemporary issues in Philosophy of Mind.
Amazon Customer
The nonprofessional who wants to read about the philosophy of mind for their own knowledge or enjoyment but who want to read one book not a thousand.
Ronin
The book includes a glossary that defines the words and concepts to a full grasp of each essential idea.
Deya S.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

61 of 62 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on March 3, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Edward Feser's book is a fine introduction to the contemporary issues in Philosophy of Mind. I believe this is saying a lot because Philosophy of Mind is a terribly difficult subject and there are no really solid boundaries between today's major thinkers. For example, Daniel Dennett (Consciousness Explained), John Searle (Mind, Language, and Society : Philosophy in the Real World), Jerry Fodor (LOT 2: The Language of Thought Revisited) and Paul Churchland (Matter and Consciousness: A Contemporary Introduction to the Philosophy of Mind) are all given some mention and their ideas are discussed in a useful way.

Two major benefits of this book are the Glossary at the end of the book and the Further Reading sections at the end of each chapter. Feser does a great job hitting the high points and the history of Philosophy of Mind in nine painless chapters: 1) Perception, 2) Dualism, 3) Materialism, 4) Qualia, 5) Consciousness, 6) Thought, 7) Intentionality, 8) Person and 9) Postscript (2006). My degree is in Philosophy and I wish I had had this book my freshman year. And while it may not help resolve any of the issues on the topic, it is very helpful in understanding the issues involved. I highly recommend it.
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Deya S. on March 12, 2009
Format: Paperback
Feser's book is an excellent, perhaps the best, introduction for contemporary philosophy of mind. In a clear prose, but in the rigorous argumentative style of most professional philosophers, Feser explains the main topics of discussion in philosophy of mind (e.g. the mind-body problem, consciousness, thought, intentionality, persons etc.), critically explore each position in its strong and weak points, making explicit its hidden assumptions and implications.

The book includes a glossary that defines the words and concepts to a full grasp of each essential idea. That glossary is very useful, especially for people without a formal training in philosophy.

Also, the bibliography provided by Feser is of great help, because it guides the readers to specific and reliable sources on each topic.

An essential guide for philosophy of mind students and scholars, and for any person interested in philosophy.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Reader on September 2, 2012
Format: Paperback
Originally published in 2005 Edward Feser's `Philosophy of Mind' is an instalment in Oneworld Publications' Beginners Guide series. Feser is an American philosopher with publications in areas including; Aristotle, Aquinas, philosophy of mind and philosophy of religion. The present review pertains to the 2006 edition.

The text surveys the modern philosophy of mind tradition starting from Descartes and running through to the present. In this short text Feser takes the reader through a chronological overview of leading modern approaches including behaviourism, identity theory, functionalism, panpsyschism and concluding with hylomorphic dualism. The discussion provides an excellent overview of the various theories, introduces their leading proponents and assesses their respective strengths and weaknesses. I offer a few thoughts for potential purchasers.

1) The tag `beginners guide' is somewhat misleading. While Feser starts of with the basics and covers the requisite bases required of an introductory text, the discussion picks up speed and some of the latter chapters may be challenging for a true neophyte. The text seems best suited for someone who has had some exposure to the subject matter.

2) Probably the text's greatest strength is its uncharacteristically broad approach. Much contemporary work in the philosophy of mind presupposes materialism/physicalism and the discussion is accordingly skewed in this direction. This is not intended to dismiss physicalist views of the mind but, rather to note that presuppositions play an important role in determining how an issue is approached - which options are considered to be viable and which are not.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Bobby Bambino on April 25, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Feser's "Philosophy of Mind" is an extremely well written and balanced introduction to the different views on the philosophy of mind. For some strange reason, I have never been that excited about the arguments and questions in the realm of philosophy of mind. Yet Feser's book has made me realize the value in considering the questions raised by the study of mind. For example, does the existence of qualia undermine materialism? Does Cartesian dualism fall to the "interaction problem" i.e. how does this different substance (the soul) interact or cause changes in this material substance (the body)? These questions are somewhat indicative of the style Feser takes in his book, for as I mentioned above, Feser writes a balanced book, looking at both reasons for and against materialism and for and against Cartesian dualism. These are the two broad categories that Feser compares and contrasts with each other throughout the book. In fact, the book is so balanced for the first 2/3rds or so that I began to think that Feser wrote it in between his atheism and Catholicism stages of his life, and that he personally didn't hold to one position or another at the time of his writing. However, we do learn towards the end that Feser ultimately defends (rightly I believe) hylomorphic dualism. This is a great culmination of the book, as Feser has set it up so that there are some things that Cartesian dualism seems to answer better than materialism, but other things where Cartesian dualism falls short. The solution to the problem is another kind of dualism, the classic dualism of Aquinas and others, one which is totally immune from the interaction problem as well as new scientific findings in neuroscience.Read more ›
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