Philosophy of Mind: A Beginner's Guide

Philosophy of Mind A Beginner s Guide In this lively and entertaining introduction to the philosophy of mind Edward Feser explores the questions central to the discipline

  • Title: Philosophy of Mind: A Beginner's Guide
  • Author: Edward Feser
  • ISBN: 9781851684786
  • Page: 393
  • Format: Paperback
  • In this lively and entertaining introduction to the philosophy of mind, Edward Feser explores the questions central to the discipline.

    One thought on “Philosophy of Mind: A Beginner's Guide”

    1. As an introduction, this book is excellent. Feser begins with Descartes and two theories of perception - indirect and direct realism. He then offers and introduction to dualism, claiming that the mind is different than the brain just like apples are differant than oranges. In one sense, you shouldn't even need an argument to see that. He shores this claim up by getting more specific about some of the differences. He then moves to materialism about the mind, providing some of the motives they hav [...]

    2. For a long time, the vogue among intellectuals has been to describe humans in terms of machines or computers. Considering the fact that machines and computers are human inventions, this has always seemed to me wilfully reductionist, as if one were to say that a country is literally a map. In terms of Venn diagrams, a machine, deriving from humans, should be included within the set of humanity, not the other way around.And now, in the 21st century, those who hold the view that humans are machines [...]

    3. This book is a great introduction to this fascinating and foundational branch of philosophy. Feser fairly presents the case for and against both a naturalistic and a dualistic understanding of the mind. I wish he would have developed the difference between Aristotelian and Cartesian dualism further.

    4. A tangle indeedThis was a difficult book that I would only commend to those VERY interested in the subject. I was hoping for a more straightforward, simplistic defense of the metaphysical nature of the mind, but such is evidently not to be had. A quote from the book sums it up best: "Wilfrid Sellars famously wrote that “the traditional mind-body problem is a veritable tangle of tangles. At first sight but one of the ‘problems of philosophy,’ it soon turns out, as one picks at it, to be no [...]

    5. Having not had the opportunity to take an undergraduate course in philosophy of mind, I don't have a way to gauge how good this book is qua an introduction to the field, however, I can say that it was easily understandable. Especially noteworthy is Feser's discussion of dualism and various non-materialist views. Also, the further reading lists at the end of each chapter are extremely well done and provide more than enough fodder for further research to keep one busy for many months. Also, the gl [...]

    6. I really enjoyed this book. Feser's writing is clear and accessible. He does a great job of giving an overview of Philosophy's approach to understanding the mind and especially how the mind relates to the brain.This is an area I've thought about a lot, but I have done no serious reading on it before now. This book was exactly what I was looking for as an introduction to the topic. I could follow most of it (although a lot of detail went past me), and it really gave me a great deal to think about [...]

    7. A really thorough introduction to the philosophy of mind. Much more thorough than one might be expecting (e.g you'll learn about Russellian Identity Theory and Neutral Monism, Homunculi Decomposition arguments etc.)Feser's grasp of the subject and his ability to lay it out in an organized and clear manner is top notch.

    8. Much more complex than I expected it to be from the introductory nature of the work. That's good if you know a thing or two about philosophy, but I wouldn't recommend this to newcomers. A lot of terminology coming from all the different schools discussed here.

    9. A great introduction to philosophy of mind in general and hylemorphism in particular. Edward Feser is turning me into a Thomist.

    10. This book presents an excellent overview of its subject, accessible to beginners who are willing to work (as reading any serious philosophical book usually requires work) but deep enough to be interesting also to the reader who already knows something about the subject. The story begins with Descartes' reflections on knowledge, certainty, and "I think, therefore I exist"; it moves on through early modern theories of dualism and materialism to contemporary discussions regarding qualia (subjective [...]

    11. As a philosophy major, I don’t remember such a deep treatment of the mind, and this is just an intro book! Feser does a fantastic job of going through the problems with materialistic and reductionist approaches and concludes with the satisfying answer in Thomistic metaphysics. I am growing to love Aquinas more and more as a powerful guide to reality.

    12. Feser Edward does a very good job of covering the arguments between the materialist, the emergent materialist, and the dualist in regards to mind and consciousness. However, his effort to battle the materialist seems overly confident in conclusions about the insufficiency of the non-dualist materialist analysis of mind.

    13. Powerful and entertaining A very detailed introduction to the Mind-Body problem, with a balanced take on the diverse theories and philosophical approaches to the matter. Obviously, the Thomistic-Aristotelian view its the most consistent against the fashionable materialism mechanistic.

    14. I really enjoyed this book, there were times towards the middle of the book where it became a little dizzying - trying to follow along with who’s who and what’s what but overall it was very clear and concise; very approachable.

    15. One star for writing a book probably only about 1% of the population will be able to understand, 1% of those will want to read and 1% of those would actually be able to afford it. I am amazed that a publisher put money into this project. Must have had some government grant. Well there is one reason I don't like politicians spending my hard earned tax dollars. Half of it is utterly wasted on the boring content of this book.I am no philosopher and quite frankly having now read 3 books on philosoph [...]

    16. Not what I expected from Feser, after reading his blog and his book on Aquinas. Interesting to some readers I'm sure, but not to me. Has the virtues and drawbacks typical of his writings. The second half of the book is better organized, and at the end Aristotle and Thomas finally make their appearance.I don't understand why Feser asks so many questions about the imagination. He distinguishes between "physical" impossibilities (eg a human leaping fifty feet in the air) and "metaphysical" impossib [...]

    17. A very interesting introduction to the philosophy of mind. I recommend pairing it with a beginner's level book from a materialist perspective such as Dennett's Consciousness Explained, or The Mind's I (edited by douglas hofstadter). For a book purporting to be an introduction to the subject, Philosophy of Mind is more partisan than one might expect. This book is not an even-handed survey of the field, but a passionate defense of Thomism. With that said, PoM does a great job of informing the read [...]

    18. I loved this book. It was clear, it was pedagogically useful (explains a lot of terms and philosophical positions), and it was engaging. I wish Feser had stated upfront that his underlying intention was to show that Thomistic dualism (hylomorphism) should be taken seriously. However, I appreciate all of the back-and-forth discussions about materialism and dualism. Though the book doesn't go too in depth for any one argument, he provides just enough information so that you understand what is bein [...]

    19. I'm not a philosopher, but would like to understand it better, especially this aspect of philosophy. I was doing OK with understanding it until about 1/2 way in and then I could no longer follow. Not sure if it's the jargon, or what, but my comprehension of what he was saying was gone. Still, I did gain some good understanding from the first half. I need a beginner's guide to the beginner's guide, I guess.

    20. I found the first few chapters absolutely immersive and thought provoking. Arguments were clearly presented and cogently explained. However, towards the latter chapters, the book did seem to become repetitive and the concepts being discussed appeared extremely void of practical worth.

    21. The thesis of the book "Not Even Wrong" comes to mind almost immediately while reading this book - and that's not a good thing.

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