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Description - The Rediscovery of the Mind by John R. Searle

In this work, John Searle attacks current orthodoxies in the philosophy of mind. More than anything else, he argues, it is the neglect of consciousness that results in so much barrenness and sterility in psychology, the philosophy of mind, and cognitive science: there can be no study of mind that leaves out consciousness. The text argues that what is going on in the brain is nothing more than neurophysiological processes and consciousness. Beginning with a discussion of what's wrong with the philosophy of mind, Searle characterizes and refutes the philosophical tradition of materialism. But he does not embrace dualism. All these "isms" are mistaken, he insists. He elaborates a theory of consciousness and its relation to our overall scientific world view and to unconscious mental phenomena. He concludes with a criticism of cognitive science and a proposal for an approach to studying the mind that emphasizes the centrality of consciousness to any account of mental functioning. Searle identifies the very terminology of the field as the main source of truth. He observes that it is a mistake to suppose that the ontology of the mental is objective and to suppose that the methodology of a science of the mind must concern itself only with objectively observable behaviour; that it is also a mistake to suppose that we know of the existence of mental phenomena in others only by observing their behaviour; that behaviour or causal relations to behaviour are not essential to the existence of mental phenomena; and that it is inconsistent with what we know about the universe and our place in it to suppose that everything is knowable by us.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780262691543
ISBN-10: 026269154X
Format: Paperback
(229mm x 152mm x 14mm)
Pages: 286
Imprint: Bradford Books
Publisher: MIT Press Ltd
Publish Date: 8-Jul-1992
Country of Publication: United States

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Author Biography - John R. Searle

Nick Chater is Professor of Psychology at the University of Warwick and Director of the Institute for Applied Cognitive Science.

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