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The Analysis Of Mind Paperback – September 13, 2013


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 170 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (September 13, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1463684282
  • ISBN-13: 978-1463684280
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 8 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,312,895 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"...[A]n inhabitation of great charm and most fascinatingly furnished; not to speak of the wonderful quality of light..." -- Joseph Conrad

"A most brilliant essay in psychology." --New Statesman

From the Publisher

COSIMO CLASSICS offers distinctive titles by the great authors and thinkers who have inspired, informed and engaged readers throughout the ages.

Covering a diverse range of subjects that include Health & Science, Eastern Philosophy, Mythology & Sacred Texts, Philosophy & Spirituality, and Business & Economics these newly revitalized treasures are now available to contemporary readers. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.


More About the Author

Bertrand Russell (1872 - 1970). Philosopher, mathematician, educational and sexual reformer, pacifist, prolific letter writer, author and columnist, Bertrand Russell was one of the most influential and widely known intellectual figures of the twentieth century. In 1950 he was awarded the Noble Prize for Literature in 1950 for his extensive contributions to world literature and for his "rationality and humanity, as a fearless champion of free speech and free thought in the West."

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

36 of 38 people found the following review helpful By qwff on March 4, 2008
Format: Paperback
Formally this book doesn't contain groundbreaking insights, or better: it doesn't say anything that isn't already under your eyes. Its biggest accomplishment, however, is in the very act of showing how sometimes we don't see what's under our eyes for a sort of mental laziness.

Russell forces us to move away from this laziness and reconsider what we take for granted about ourselves, and does so with his enjoyable style. He seems to possess the rare skill of finding the minimum amount of words and concepts needed to explain (and solve) the problem clearly and accurately. He will never forget to define precisely all the terms needed in the discussion, or to question the limits of the premises in order to understand the scope of the conclusion.

In each chapter he considers a facet of what we call mind and explores it both from the point of introspection and of external analysis of observable behavior. Introspection gives use informations impossible to obtain with other methods, and it is what gives meaning to the problem of mind in the first place, but it has the intrinsic problem of an instrument trying to measure itself. So Russell keeps on correcting this "view from the inside" and the delusions it can create with the stick of behaviourism and objective observation.

On a less technical side, I highly appreciate the intellectual honesty of someone who can freely use the words "contrary to what I once stated".

The only minus I can think of is that after one has understood the method of analysis employed he can probably predict how it will be used by the author to investigate the remaining items of his enquiry.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jacques COULARDEAU on October 17, 2011
Format: Paperback
This set of fifteen lectures delivered in 1921 and available on line at the Pennsylvania State University, are important but have aged tremendously. Today we can follow in real time the activity of the brain and nervous system for any mental activity, or motor activity as for that. So a great number of pages discussing the difference between a sensation, purely at the level of the contact of some sensorial organ with an outside stimulus, and an image which is a mental representation of what the stimuli are bringing in, or of some mnemic, in other words remembered or recollected, representation in the mind can clearly be solved. Thinking of something or seeing something are very similar but different, just as doing something and seeing someone doing something are very similar but not exactly the same thanks to mirror neurons. And we can "see" the brain working today.

In the same way he spends a tremendous amount of time demonstrating the existence of the mind, of a specific mental level of brain activity. But today that is no longer something to be discussed in such length because thanks to the tremendous progress of medical imagery we know that the brain can work without any outside stimulus, on a stimulus that comes directly from inside, thought, recollection, imagination and so on.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Zadius Sky on March 26, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Granted, this is my first reading of one of Bertrand Russell's works, and "The Analysis of Mind" is an interesting reading, regardless of the impression of it being outdated (1921). However, at the time of the publication, I'd say that it's quite insightful. Now, from reading, he is, quite right, saying that we take things for granted and focus on being more conscious than lulling ourselves into laziness, generally speaking.

The book is broken into fifteen "lectures" (rather than "chapters") with each can be a slightly dry read, but with care and patience, one can grasp what the author's saying. It'll force one to think and ponder on the author's thoughts. Personally, I found a lecture on "Truth and Falsehood" to be quite fascinating.

While the Kindle version can be an unreadable in several area, it's still a good read as one gets used to it (at least, to me anyway).
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A bit dry at times but full of deep thoughts on the workings of he mind. Favorite quote on evolving every day was "Any of us confronted by a forgotten letter written some years ago will be astonished to find how much more foolish our opinions were than we had remembered them as being".
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Format: Paperback
I found this book to be, by my judgment, the best of Russell's books that I've yet read. It was a challenging read; however, I felt compelled to challenge some of Russell's conclusions with my own views that fail to cohere with his.

I will quote brief segments from this book, because that can help clarify where and how I disagree with Russell. At the very beginning of the book, on page 4, Russell says "There is one element which SEEMS [Russell had the word in italics] obviously in common among different ways of being conscious, and that is, they are all directed to OBJECTS [Russell's emphasis]. We are conscious 'of' something". Although I will not claim to be dogmatic on this issue, I am inclined to disagree with Russell on that account. I refer to what I have personally experienced as being in deep meditative states, where I had a powerful sense of being conscious (somehow AWARE), and yet the consciousness was NOT DIRECTED at any object -- it was pure, undirected awareness (even if, in a sense, a "mystical" awareness). Maybe Russell would have denied that such a state is consciousness, but I can see no justification for such a denial.

In Lecture III, "Desire and Feeling", Russell advocates a behaviorist worldview in regard to human feelings and desires. Of course, behaviorism was sort of flourishing when Russell wrote his book, but now in the 21st century, behaviorism seems to be largely dismissed as unacceptably simplistic by most psychologists and philosophers of mind. On page 33 Russell says the following: "The whole tendency of psycho-analysis is to trust the outside observer rather than the testimony of introspection.
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