Friday, December 05, 2003

Theories of the Mind by Stephen Priest

Since I'm not an expert on the mind-body problem, I can't say if Stephen Priest has written a fair survey of the attempts to solve the problem. His writing is lucid, though, and Priest does not neglect recent neuroscientific research. One annoying feature is that he repeatedly explains that certain hypotheses. Perhaps he intended to write a textbook, in which case only arbitrary excerpts might be read.) According to Library Journal, this book also offers "a valuable corrective to the materialism of Daniel Dennett's Consciousness Explained," a book that gets a lot of blogospheric attention. Priest's own theory, which he saves for the conclusion, is that mental events occur and material objects exist. Mind and matter, however, do not exist, and there really is no mind-body problem, just as there is no motion-car problem. (Incidentally, Priest considers Kant a materialist, but he understandably believes that to explain why would take another book. If anyone has written such a book, please let me know.)


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