- Series: Fundamentals of Philosophy Series
- Paperback: 240 pages
- Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (July 28, 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0195157346
- ISBN-13: 978-0195157345
- Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 0.7 x 5.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #337,306 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Mind: A Brief Introduction (Fundamentals of Philosophy Series) 1st Edition
Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices.
Frequently Bought Together
From Publishers Weekly
With characteristic verve and wit, Univ. of California at Berkeley philosopher Searle (The Rediscovery of the Mind) dismantles various competing theories of minddualist, materialist, behaviorist and skepticistin this opinionated overview of the philosophy of mind. His purview includes the relationship of the mind to the body, the role of perception in human understanding and the purported equivalence between mind and brain. On dualism, for example, Searle finds Descartess postulation of mind and body as separate spheres leaves no room for consciousness. Searle himself argues for a "biological naturalism" that holds that "conscious states are real phenomena in the real world." Although the language and theory surrounding the philosophy of mind is often technical and complex, Searles knack for presenting dense ideas in lively prose makes this book a fine starting point for an investigation into the contemporary philosophy of mind.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Scientific American
Many of the most time-honored questions in philosophy center on how to analyze and understand the essence of the mind. What motivates us? What makes us conscious? What makes us ourselves? In Mind: A Brief Introduction, Searle aims to introduce the reader to the historical aspects of the philosophy of mind, deconstruct existing theories, and offer new perspectives using logic, personal experiences and cases from neuroscience and psychology research. The opening chapters provide an engaging, easy-to-follow primer. Searle, a professor of philosophy at the University of California at Berkeley, discusses how the work of Descartes and dualismthe idea that mind and body are separatehave colored and discolored the way we define the mind. Searle also examines subsets of monism and materialism, disciplines of thinking that run counter to dualism and became increasingly influential in the 20th century. Searle explains such theories not merely to educate readers but to systematically point out problems in their arguments, then build his proposed philosophy of mind from the debris. He is even-handed, however, admitting that past theories have elements of truth. Searle then sets out to reconcile these beliefs by rethinking specific aspects of the mind, including consciousness, causation and free will. He sharply shows readers his method of analyzing these concepts by applying them to observations of everyday experiences, such as thoughts about his dog. Searle then guides the discussion toward deeper meaning, extrapolating his sensory experience to an internal reflection and logical argument of what his observation says about mental processes. These dialogues eventually flesh out his perspective on the brain versus mind debate. Along the way, Searle ties in examples from neuroscience and psychology to accentuate his ideas, but the book speaks best to readers who want to approach the mind from a primarily philosophical perspective. He fulfills his stated intent of aiding the reader in beginning his or her own reflections on the mind. The historical reviews, coupled with Searles own research and perspectives, provide an excellent starting point.
Nicole Garbarini --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
In terms of explicating and defending Searle's point of view, this is an excellent book.Read more ›
How very simple! Why is this pellucid view more acceptable today than a century or a millennium ago? The answer is that modern science has made Searle's answer credible. First, we now can chart the development of mind in animals, and we can be quite certain that many vertebrates are conscious beings. Therefore consciousness and mind are products of biological evolution. Second, modern science is quite at home with the stunning inscrutability of the natural world. Einstein, a Twentieth century scientist with a Nineteenth century aesthetic and morality, never accepted quantum mechanics, considering it just too, too weird. Complexity theory, revealed mathematically and through the power of the computer, allows us to understand the concept of emergence, in which a higher level of complexity supports the emergence of properties that cannot be predicted or analyzed completely from component parts.Read more ›
The central conundrum tackled by Searle is the mind-body problem, one which, despite the juggernaut of thinkers who have made their contribution over the centuries, has continued to leave camps divided. Searle argues against the dualist notions of mind and body, and deterministic notions reducing everything to matter. He proposes what he calls "biological naturalism," in which mental events are a higher level manifestation of systemic neurobiological processes. His thoughts regarding the mind-body problem are, I think, the most well laid out and forceful arguments in his book, but in the context of what I said at the beginning of this review, no amount of arm chair thinking, however "rational," can ever give us final answers, can ever solve the great questions of mind-body, free will, perception and causation. Searle's attempt to refute established notions regarding these problems only reinforces the unending back and forth cycling of arguments that typify philosophy, with the problems in question not subject to rational solution.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
There are better introductions to the philosophy of mind (Feser's for example). I enjoy introductions that don't pretend to objectivity, and Searle does present his "solution" to... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Tom Pepper
Searle is a great writer, describing complex philosophical ideas in a commonsense conversational tone. Highly recommended, as are all of his books.Published 9 months ago by Ross Levatter
"Mind" is too one-sided to be a great introduction to the philosophy of mind, but it is a great introduction to John Searle's philosophy of mind. Read morePublished 14 months ago by not me
Searle is, of course, a prolific commentator and one of his favorite subjects is the mind, consciousness, and the manner in which we might conceptualize them. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Richard B. Schwartz
Great explanation of all the points of view of philosophy of the mind, including the historic trajectory. Read morePublished 19 months ago by Gary
Clearly written. Mostly about consciousness. Not sure about the philosophers' approach to consciousness. Would congnitive science be better?Perhaps neurology? Read morePublished 19 months ago by alvin c ruppert