The Inner Life of a Rational Agent
In Defence of Philosophical Behaviourism
By (author) Rowland Stout
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Inner Life of a Rational Agent by Rowland Stout
Book DescriptionA radical approach to the philosophy of mind, in which states of mind are identified with dispositions to behave in certain ways. The approach taken by Rowland Stout is a thoroughly up-to-date version of behaviourism, although not a form of behaviourism that denies the existence of consciousness, free will, rationality, etc., nor aims to reduce these to other sorts of things. Properly understood, the idea of being disposed to behave in a certain way is seen to be exactly as rich and interesting as the idea of being in a certain state of mind. The fact that our ways of behaving are sensitive to practical rationality is taken to be an essential aspect of our nature as conscious agents. And in describing such a version of practical rationality Stout claims we are describing the mental state of someone whose behaviour is sensitive to it. His account of behaviourism rests on two central notions - that of a causal disposition to behave and that of sensitivity to practical rationality. He explains and develops these notions in some detail, and then uses them to construct powerful and original accounts of belief, intention, knowledge, perception and consciousness. Key Features * A systematic and completely original theoretical approach to the philosophy of mind * A re-evaluation of the history of the philosophy of mind based on a rejection of the generally accepted arguments in the 1960s and 1970s used by functionalists against behaviourists * A serious engagement with the intuitively compelling issues concerning behaviourism.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780748623433
(234mm x 156mm x 24mm)
Imprint: Edinburgh University Press
Publisher: Edinburgh University Press
Publish Date: 4-Apr-2006
Country of Publication: United Kingdom
Books By Author Rowland Stout
Things That Happen Because They Should, Hardback (October 1996)» View all books by Rowland Stout
Philosophers usually explain people's actions in terms of their beliefs and intentions rather than in terms of objective facts. In this work, the author takes the opposite line, arguing that actions can be teleologically explained, and they happen because they serve some end.
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Author Biography - Rowland Stout
Rowland Stout is a College Lecturer in Philosophy at the University College Dublin. He is author of Things that Happen Because They Should (OUP, 1996) and Action (forthcoming, Acumen).
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