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The Ontology of Mind: Events, Processes, and States (Oxford Philosophical Monographs) n Reprint Edition

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ISBN-13: 978-0198250647
ISBN-10: 0198250649
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Editorial Reviews

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"Steward's carefully constructed argument challenges the long-standing core assumptions of identity theoriests as well as the more recent assumptions of eliminativists and functionalists. Steward's text should be required reading for anyone with a serious interest in understanding the implications of assumptions that may have been taken for granted for far too long."--Choice


"Steward's carefully constructed argument challenges the long-standing core assumptions of identity theoriests as well as the more recent assumptions of eliminativists and functionalists. Steward's text should be required reading for anyone with a serious interest in understanding the implications of assumptions that may have been taken for granted for far too long."--Choice


About the Author

Helen Steward is Fellow and Tutor in Philosophy at Balliol College, Oxford.
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Product Details

  • Series: Oxford Philosophical Monographs
  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Clarendon Press; n Reprint edition (May 18, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0198250649
  • ISBN-13: 978-0198250647
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 0.8 x 5.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,955,340 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Clayton Littlejohn on January 5, 2004
Format: Paperback
I'd recommend this to anyone with a serious interest in the philosophy of mind but caution that it is not the sort of thing easily digested by undergraduates. The book is divided into two parts. In Part I, Steward explains why some popular views concerning event identity prevent us from formulating a coherent version of token physicalism. She then provides us with ways of distinguishing events, states, and processes in the hopes of clarifying what is too often muddled discussion concerning the nature of the relation between the mental and the physical. She then tries to sort out the proper role for states, events, and processes within our causal ontology and provides a nice discussion concerning the distinction between causation (understood as a relation among events and perhaps substances) and causal relevance. In Part II, she explains why functionalism and eliminative materialism (in their standard formulations) run into difficulties because the arguments for such views illictly assume that there is a coherent notion of a token state that could play a certain role in causation that she has argued in Part I states could not fulfill. If she's right, much of the discussion in contemporary philosophy of mind is seriously confused. She finishes with some sketchy and speculative comments as to how we should best formulate physicalist theses (Note: she's not defending such theses, only providing us with suggestions as to how to coherently state them).

Often her arguments rest on linguistic data and if you aren't already familiar with the distinction between tense and aspect, say, this book will be a very difficult read. It is something that I feel has not received sufficient attention in the literature for two reasons.
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The Ontology of Mind: Events, Processes, and States (Oxford Philosophical Monographs)
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