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The Nature of Mind Paperback – March 21, 1991

ISBN-13: 978-0195046717 ISBN-10: 0195046714 Edition: 1st
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Editorial Reviews


"Good text; useful for beginning to advanced level philosophy of mind courses. There is enough material to pick and choose appropriate level of reading material. All the classics are contained herein. And Rosenthal's introduction to each section is illuminating."--Lisbeth Duncan LaCoste, University of Washington

"Excellent set of readings for anyone in Psychology, Education, Psychiatry, and Sociology. Especially good treatment of history and current status of human development issues."--Keith Barton, University of California at Davis

"Rosenthal's anthology is the best and most comprehensive as well as the most updated anthology in the field."--Murat Aydede, University of Chicago

"Very nicely presents the immensely complex nature of mind from different perspectives including psychophysical, theoretical, cognitive, and computational."--C.H. Chen, University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth

"The text is excellent with a veritable wealth of representative up-to-date materials and very suitable for Philosophy of Mind courses."--Stanely Riukas, West Chester University

"Excellent selection of articles, both in coverage of topics and in providing essential background for contemporary discussion."--J.D. Atlas, University of California, Los Angeles

"Very good contemporary selection for moderately advanced students. Excellent summary chapter introductions and full bibliographical references."--James Robertson, Cogswell College

"A wealth of material with an excellent balance of traditional readings on the mind-body problem, contemporary debates in cognitive science, and related issues such as consciousness and the self....A first-rate collection!"--Lilly-Marlene Russow, Purdue University

"A comprehensive and very useful collection."--G. Thomson, University of Wisconsin

"It will be hard for anyone teaching an upper division undergraduate or graduate course in Philosophy of Mind not to consider [this] plump anthology as a possible text."--Keith Gunderson, University of Minnesota

About the Author

David M. Rosenthal is at City University of New York.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 656 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (March 21, 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195046714
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195046717
  • Product Dimensions: 9.9 x 1.3 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #825,996 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 5, 2000
Format: Paperback
This collection of articles is one of the best available in phil. of mind. Its range and completeness is amazing, starting from selections of Descartes, Locke and Reid up to papers on eliminative materialism and machine functionalism. I'd definitely recommend this for anybody willing to get serious about the subject. If you haven't already studied the papers contained here, do it, for they 're absolutely fundamental to our current understanding of the problems in the phil. of mind.
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Format: Paperback
Editor David Rosenthal wrote in the Introduction to this 1991 collection, "Despite our seemingly immediate grasp of mental states, it is often hard to put into words what we know about mind. We seem to understand the mind readily enough from our own experience. What causes problems is articulating what we know objectively, that is, in terms that are independent and of our own case. This raises a problem about how the study of mind should proceed. Are mental processes subject to scientific study, as other natural phenomena are? Or is the study of mind limited to our everyday, commonsense descriptions of mental states? If there can be a science of mind, what is its status relative to the other sciences? The readings collected here reflect these concerns." (Pg. 3-4) A wide variety of papers and excerpts are included (including from Descartes, Locke, and Thomas Reid), but the vast majority of the collection is given over to contempory philosophers, such as Ryle, Anscombe, Strawson, Rorty, Putnam, Smart, Block, Quine, Chisholm, Dennett, Sellars, Nagel, Stich, Searle, etc.

D.M. Armstrong argues, "But, in fact, the apprehension of something must be distinct from the thing apprehended. For if not, we are faced with a flagrant circularity. Having a pain logically involves apprehension of---what? The pain itself! This is as bad as saying that to be a cat logically involves being the offspring of cats. It seems, therefore, that there must always be a distinction between BEING in a certain mental state and BEING AWARE that we are in that state. Hence there can be no indubitable introspective knowledge." (Pg. 129)

J.J.C. Smart explains the Identity Theory (or "topic-neutral") theory of mind: "Let me first try to state more accurately the thesis that sensations are brain-processes...
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By Pierre Menard on February 17, 2015
Format: Paperback
"Since the dawn of history philosophers have speculated about the nature of mind." Nice.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Ann Cartee on September 12, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm taking a course right now called Philosophy of Mind, and this is one of our textbooks. The topic is fascinating to me, has been for years, in fact is something I have been discussing for years with my philosophy-professor-brother-in-law.

But gosh, did they have to use such a teeny tiny typeface? It's giving me a headache! And when they have a quoted passage within an article, THAT is even TINIER! Oh my! Please pass the Excedrin!

Okay, given that it's a somewhat sizable book, and HEAVY for its size, and using a larger font would make the book larger - okay, so make the book larger! It could stand to grow a bit! The too-small print is costing you 2 stars! Seriously! I really do have a headache, and it's not from the topic!
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