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The Waning of Materialism 1st Edition

4 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0199556199
ISBN-10: 0199556199
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Robert C. Koons is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Texas, Austin. Koons studied at Michigan State, Oxford, and UCLA. He is the author of Paradoxes of Belief and Strategic Rationality (Cambridge, 1993), and Realism Regained (OUP, 2000). George Bealer is Professor of Philosophy at Yale University. He is the author of Quality and Concept (OUP, 1982).

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 440 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (May 20, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199556199
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199556199
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 1.2 x 6.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,258,147 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

45 of 51 people found the following review helpful By Bradley Metzner on February 17, 2011
Format: Paperback
Materialism is a metaphysical position, not an empirical deduction, so (like any metaphysical position) its truth or falsehood is something that can be determined only through the application of logic. This collection is a remarkably exhaustive assault on the logical implausibilities of all the different forms of materialism, and it would be hard to think of a better volume on the topic. It would also be difficult for any impartial and intelligent reader to come away from this volume without realizing that, at the purely logical level, materialism is among the more incredible metaphysical propositions ever advanced. It would have been nice if there had been more essays on the issues of ontology, in the classical sense, but that may be a lot to ask from a volume emerging from the Anglo-American tradition.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Reader on August 24, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Originally published in 2010 `The Waning of Materialism' is a collection of approximately two dozen original essays critically examining materialist theories of mind. Edited by Koons and Bealer the text contains essays from notable philosophers such as Bonjour, Hasker and Burge.

Arguably the leading problem in the philosophy of mind and the cognitive sciences is the so-called mind-body problem. That is, how do mental phenomena such as intentions and beliefs hook up to physical phenomena such as bodies and brains? Responses to this question have traditionally been framed in terms of monism or dualism. Monism - the claim that reality is composed of one substance and, dualism - the claim that it is composed of two substances. These views in turn are further divided. Monism into physicalism/materialism (the fundamental substance is physical), idealism (the fundamental substance is mental) and neutral monism (the physical and mental reduce to some more fundamental substance); while dualism is bifurcated into substance dualism (the mental and the physical are distinct and irreducible substances) and property dualism (the mental and physical are different qualities of one underlying substance - normally the physical). Physicalist/materialist theories of the mind can be further sub-divided into the reductive (e.g. identity theory) and non-reductive (e.g. emergence theories). The essays in this collection are grouped in four areas (the on-line table of contents is not available at the time of writing):

1. Argument from consciousness
2. Arguments from unity and identity
3. Arguments from intentionality, mental causation and knowledge
4. Alternatives to Materialism

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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Great collection of essays on an interesting topic. Readers will come away with a good understanding of the problems inherent in materialism.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Hande Z on November 7, 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In the 'Introduction' the editors admit that the title of this book is not intended to mean that 'materialism is in the process of being eclipsed' nor do they mean that 'it is likely to be eclipsed at any point in the foreseeable future'. They are merely showing that more philosophers are prepared to reject materialism. The reader should question why is it that materialism is still 'a readily intelligible monistic worldview, appealing in its apparent simplicity, and a natural complement to the impressive ongoing successes in the natural science'. The editors also make out a list of philosophers who 'either rejected materialism or had serious and specific doubts about its ultimate viability'. When an author resorts to dropping names like this, the reader should question why. But first, the impression the editors hope to convey is the subtle one that materialism is problematic and that the named philosophers have proven this. The truth is that there is no answer to the age-old problems of mind-body connection. Koons' book has no answer. In fact, the views expressed are the least viable by his own admission. Secondly, the reader will want to know, in spite of seeing the problems in materialism, how many (and who) among those named either still accept materialism over other theories or have also rejected the theory this book is advancing. That is also another problem: What indeed is Koons advancing?
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