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Philosophy of Mind (A Beginner's Guide) Paperback – October 20, 2006
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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.
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.
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Philosophy of Mind, by Edward Feser, is an accessible introduction and intelligible overview of the central issues concerning -- you guessed it -- the philosophy of mind. Read morePublished 13 days ago by Robert W. Childress
I'm enjoying this as much as I can understand it. I consider myself to be fairly intelligent but for "A Beginner's Guide" I'm finding I can only take this book in small... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Shawn
Well written, but factious and not well rounded review, thus not suitable for a beginner's guide. With several superficial examples and arguments, completely lacking scientific... Read morePublished 13 months ago by Review
In my opinion this is a clear, balanced and understandable introductary book about "Philosophy of Mind". Read morePublished on January 29, 2014 by Per Jerstad
The best introductory book on the Philosophy of mind I have ever read. This book gives a good concise summary of all the basic puzzles concerning the mind-body and related... Read morePublished on August 17, 2013 by Ronin
I offer readers of this review a caveat: Much of this book is so profound that it is above me. What I did understand I found very insightful. Read morePublished on June 15, 2013 by GoneWest
This is the third book Iv'e read by Edward Feser-the other two being Aquinas and The Last Superstition which I highly recommend-and as always I find myself to have learned a great... Read morePublished on June 13, 2013 by Stevie Jake
The text does break down the material into its elementary components where anyone without a background in Philosophy can understand. Read morePublished on April 7, 2013 by Brian Wood