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Philosophy of Mind: Classical and Contemporary Readings [Paperback]

by David J. Chalmers
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Book Description

July 25, 2002 019514581X 978-0195145816
What is the mind? Is consciousness a process in the brain? How do our minds represent the world?

Philosophy of Mind: Classical and Contemporary Readings is a grand tour of writings on these and other perplexing questions about the nature of the mind. The most comprehensive collection of its kind, the book includes sixty-three selections that range from the classical contributions of Descartes to the leading edge of contemporary debates. Extensive sections cover foundational issues, the nature of consciousness, and the nature of mental content. Three of the selections are published here for the first time, while many other articles have been revised especially for this volume. Each section opens with an introduction by the editor. Philosophy of Mind is suitable for students at all levels and also for general readers.

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"By far the best selection of readings in the field. The hard-to-find are represented (Huxley) as well as the often neglected (Hill, Yablo). This is the best of all possible anthologies in the philosophy of mind."--Don A. Merrell, Arkansas State University

"An excellent volume of essays organized in a way that captures the issues that are most important to contemporary researchers in the field."--Casey O'Callaghan, University of California, Santa Cruz

About the Author

David J. Chalmers is at University of Arizona, Tucson.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 688 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA (July 25, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 019514581X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195145816
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 7.1 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #293,561 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
(8)
4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
39 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great! May 5, 2005
Format:Paperback
This is a fantastic collection compiled by David Chalmers, one of the leading philosophers of mind today. The best papers in here are "Quining Qualia" and " True Believers: The Intentional Strategy and Why It Works" by Dan Dennett, "The Rediscovery of Light" by Paul Churchland (all you hard-problemers out there should be forced to read at least the ending section of this paper), "What Experience Teaches" by David Lewis, "Sensations and Brain Processes" by J.J.C. Smart, "Is Consciousness a Brain Process?", and a good excerpt from "Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind" by Wilfrid Sellars. Non-reductive materialists and property dualists also will like this book as they are represented as well with papers from the likes of Jackson (classical paper of his is included in which he expounds the knowledge argument, "Epiphenomenal Qualia") Mcginn, Nagel, Block, Levine, and of course Chalmers himself. All in all this is a fair sampling of the competing views in the Philosophy of Mind.
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37 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Neuroscientist's Perspective January 5, 2008
Format:Hardcover
I want to start by saying that I highly recommend this for a scientific audience. Before starting the book I felt a bit like I was going into enemy territory. I didn't want to hear about Chalmers' dualistic views. I didn't want to get convinced by them. I'm a scientist for crying out loud!

This compilation gave me exactly what I was looking for. A balanced view with articles written by the luminaries in the field. Ideas and concepts that philosophers usually throw around as a matter of fact are clearly explained by the people who actually coined these very ideas.

It was surprisingly accessible for a non-philosopher, although some sections did get a little technical, so I had to skip them. But this didn't break the flow of the book or hinder the understanding of other articles.

Chalmers gives great introductions to every section in the book, so you never lose track of the development of different ideas and how they stand with respect to each other.

Finally, after learning so much (and even though it goes against Chalmers' own ideas) I am a much more confident materialist (Type A ;)
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
By Joshua
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I am a computer science professor by trade, and my area of interest is artificial intelligence. This book served as the primary text for a course on the philosophy of mind that I took while I was in graduate school. This was my first experience with the world of philosophy. This is a first rate text on the subject.

From past studies of AI/CS, cognitive science, and psychology I can tell that this is an important volume. This is a collection of studies of the philosophy of mind, it is a very self-contained read. This is an important feature of this book; it assumes little to no prior knowledge about philosophy. This book was edited by David Chalmers, and is comprised of over 60 essays from prominent philosophers spanning hundreds of years.

The treatment reads much like any thorough text on psychology would. You are not just reading about the current state of the field. The book starts from the beginning--the very beginning. The first chapters start with Rene Descartes (1600s) and Thomas Huxley (1800s). This book takes you through a number of phases of the philosophy of mind. Those who are familiar with the history of psychology will find some common ground in behaviorism, functionalism, and a number of the important questions that are grappled with over the course of the book. When read sequentially you will see how various theories are established, argued, and later refuted (or at least argued against) in later work. More contemporary works include John Searle's "Can computers think?", an essay that you may have encountered in a modern course on artificial intelligence.

This is a good read for those who are interested in AI, psychology, or cognitive science.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Had to buy for study unit January 22, 2014
By jilyan
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is amazing and fascinating but if I didn't have my study guides I wouldn't have a clue. Still reading it and my mind is being expanded :-)
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