Philosophy of Mind (Dimensions of Philosophy)

Philosophy of Mind (Dimensions of Philosophy)[Reading] ➺ Philosophy of Mind (Dimensions of Philosophy) By Jaegwon Kim – The philosophy of mind has always been a staple of the philosophy curriculum But it has never held a important place than it does today with both traditional problems and new topics often sparked by t The philosophy of mind has always been a staple of the philosophy curriculum Philosophy of Epub / But it has never held a important place than it does today with both traditional problems and new topics often sparked by the developments in the psychological cognitive and computer sciences Jaegwon Kim's Philosophy of Mind is the classic comprehensive survey of the subject Now in its second edition Kim explores maps and interprets this complex and exciting terrain Designed as an introduction to the field for upper level undergraduates and graduate students Philosophy of Mind focuses on the mindbody problem and related issues some touching on the status of psychology and cognitive science The second edition features a new chapter on Cartesian substance dualism a perspective that has been little discussed in the mainstream philosophy of mind and almost entirely ignored in most introductory books in philosophy of mind In addition all the chapters have been revised and updated to reflect the trends and developments of the last decade Throughout the text Kim allows readers to come to their own terms with the central problems of the mind At the same time the author's own emerging views are on display and serve to move the discussion forward Comprehensive clear and fair Philosophy of Mind is a model of philosophical exposition It is a major contribution to the study and teaching of the philosophy of mind. A comprehensive balanced lucid and clear review of the main philosophical themes and trends associated with what is generally described as philosophy of mind Designed for the upper undergraduate and graduate student it is probably not recommended as a beginner's introduction however it does manage to accomplish a remarkably successful compromise between clarity of exposition breath of analysis and level of detailNot perfect a bit rushed in some parts and also with some uestionable argumentation in some areas but a very very good overview providing an excellent and highly informative survey of the discipline 4 stars A decent if at times dry and technical introduction to the field of the philosophy of mindAs other reviewers have already pointed out the author takes a broadly physicalist approach to the topic although he does present alternative solutions relatively fairly The work is predominantly focussed on the hard problem of consciousness; that is how it is that physical brain states can give rise to the phenomenal sensation of consciousness or properly what link may be said to exist between the two or whether the latter can propery be said to exist as a distinct phenomenon at all As a conseuence much of the book particularly the latter chapters is involved with in depth discussions about ualia and mind brain supervenience Such discussions are of course essential to the topic but it seems like other potentially interesting areas of inuiry relating to consciousness eg theory of mind phenomenology sociability language etc are largely ignored or skipped over in favour of these rather technical uestions As a result it's probably best to judge the work as an extended introduction to cognitive physicalism including the conseuences and uestions it raises rather than as a broad introduction to the philosophy of consciousness This is an excellent survey of the contemporary problems and positions in the philosophy of mind This text is not meant for people with absolutely no background in the relevant philosophy; so prior reading may be a necessary precondition for getting the most out of this book Kim does a fantastic job of presenting contemporary disagreements as evenhandedly as possible even though he has his own positions to defend within the field The book gives a particularly fair treatment to substance dualism which is something you won't find in most philosophy of mind texts today Pioneering work in the area of writing an entire book that almost touches on what it is supposedly about while never uite doing it An accessible expansive uite contemporary textbook like introduction to the philosophy of mind and the uestions what is mentality? what is the relation of mind and body? and what is consciousness? suited for classes and discussionWhat I really like is the way the topics are presented uestions often outweigh statements because in most uestions there currently is no clear consensus as always But the most common and reasonable options and theories are presented the viewer is invited to compare them consider their very clearly stated conseuences and implications discuss them and perhaps choose which they prefer Also the essential problems and challenges to each theory are clearly stated which one would need to solve to strengthen itI would criticize some details about the content though Some sub chapters were less convincing than others and the author does seem to be proficient in Philosophy of Mind than Cognitive Science as he sometimes gives limited accounts of their theories and especially leaves out discussion of many contemporary Cognitive Science theories and models like Global Workspace Theory or Information Degradation Theory The last chapter about Consciousness has the same flaw This book is not uite in the light of contemporary Cognitive Science though it includes many older concepts like machine functionalism or ComputationalismThat said it is very valuable and enriching for students of Cognitive Science as well as there are uite some discussions of the Brain Sciences and conceptual frameworks for experimental studies what they may achieve and how to interpret thatI especially found the Mental Content chapter lacking Interpretation theory doesn't make sense to me what gives an interpretation authority over statements about the world? how to judge the correctness of an interpretation which does not even seem to be a factor? wide content seems implausible too it seems to me there can only be narrow content relations of beliefs and external content seem fuzzy and subject to interpretation i don't like the Twin Earth thought experiment water and twater are simply the same and relatedly content realism which seems very intuitive to me beliefs do not depend on interpretation is only given a very late and brief lookIn other chapters we were dissatisfied with other details and argumentations as well but most of the book really is well writtenSomewhat strangely and funnily we had problems putting many of the argumentations and theories in the book into the context of Dual Aspect Monism which some of our group liked to defend or discuss Physical causal closure is not as necessary or strongly plausible in this theory and there are other possible considerations under it It would be interesting to know what the author would respond to that what the stance on Dual Aspect Monism from Cognitive Scientists and philosophers of mind is and what implications it has to the fieldI discussed this book chapter by chapter in a group of advanced students of Cognitive Science all with some background in philosophy one in philosophy two in AIComputer Science one in medicineWe mostly enjoyed it learned many concepts and ways to answer the basic uestions and had fruitful discussions This was my college text book for a forgotten class nearly twenty years ago In reading it now its apparent that the main unstated approach in Philosophy of Mind is formalismfunctionalismThe attempt to highlight causation as the main agent shows a confusion about the necessarily obscuration inherent with functionalismNonreductive physicalism and Emergentism are possible because a functionalist approach necessarily loses information about its underlying system If we adopt functionalism as the mainstay in describing how we are physical agencies necessarily becomes an abstraction that cannot be grasped by functionalism because of the functional layer is less rich than its antecedent layerFunctionalism reduces physical causes into a range of nonexperience so that physical causes become undecidable in terms of non reductive approaches Attempting to reduce consciousness and its attributed experiences to physical causes is essentially trying to reduce an already reduced field with its characteristically different nomological network to its antecedent causes It's like trying to reduce an app on your smart phone into its binary code It can be done but there will inevitably be many undecidable ways of doing so because there are many ways to code the same thing The multiplicity of coding shows that none of these ways of coding are necessary thereby leading us to conclude that none of these physical binary relations can be said to cause any of the app's activities because it is entirely undecidableIn that sense Philosophy of Mind is an unsolvable field I've read my share of Philosophy of Mind essays over the last few years There are two main approaches the content as agency approach which is deterministic stating that the environmental factors determine our activities and the structure as agency approach which is analogous to free will since one's internal objects have agency But if you look at the functional layer and physical layer relations as a whole the two approaches are not mutually exclusive In fact to give one layer agency over the other is really a sham since the two are irreducible to one another even if the functional layer relies on the physical antecedent layer after all the middle layers of programs can be made to decide things that are inexpressible as a mere physical cause It is the undecideability of their relationship between a uantizable physicality and a logical structure that gives rise to a Godel like incompleteness Philosophers who attempt to find The Algorithm will be embroiled in an endless unresolveable debate as long as they seek to only define their structure by necessary causes Everything is possibly sufficient leading nothing to be necessaryThe failings of the field however is not the failing of the textbook Kim has written a fairly concise text that is well written and clarifies details while reflecting back to previous discussions So long as one takes Kim's book to be an undergraduate textbook on the metaphysics of mind it's uite competent Kim writes well and there is a good sense of progression from one chapter to the next Yet why did I give this a 25 star rating? I'm going to express my own personal opinion so feel free to disagree contemporary philosophy of mind is mostly unintelligible The metaphysics of mind takes for granted fortunately there are some notable exceptions that the physical is an adeuately defined term one that is capable of sustaining a meaningful debate Unfortunately this assumption has disastrous conseuences mental causation mental content physicalism etc are taken as serious fieldstopics where the various philosophical positions are supposed to have immense metaphysical implications Kim's book is no exception He seems oblivious to the suggestion that the central notions of his reasoning are impressively ambiguous My view is this I take the categories of the mental and the physical to be pretheoretical and I find physicalism a vacuous and unreasonable doctrine whose prominence is paradoxical Perhaps the doctrine made sense in the 17th century where the concept of the physical was euated either with Euclidean extension or the mechanical properties of corpuscles To hold such an aprioristic position today is an absurdity Many physicalists defend their doctrine by holding that the notion of the physical denotes a complete physical theory This is only evident of the low uality of the discussion; many philosophers of mind nowadays openly claim to be able to predict the future Of course this sort of reasoning is not entirely unprecedented Lord Kelvin famously proclaimed the end of physics but unfortunately for him he made this statement before the discoveries of specialgeneral relativity and uantum mechanics Such false predictions do not seem to trouble many contemporary philosophers who believe that similar reasoning is unobjectionable To me such reasoning seems desperate I should point out that without a coherent concept of the physical there is no dualism Conseuently there is almost no debate to be hadIf you disagree with me I'm sure you'll enjoy this book; if you don't then you should avoid it and with it much of contemporary philosophy of mind I'm afraid Kim has written a truly excellent introduction to the philosophy of mind It is a book that many other writers of philosophical introductions could learn from it is deep enough but does not pretend or try to cover everything it is sufficiently broad and most of all it is well written Kim has his own opinions and he makes them clear but as is appropriate in an introductory text he explains both sides of the arguments It provides an exceptionally clear explanation of a complex topic and is a very good stepping stone to further studies although for many it will be sufficient in itself My favorite description of this book is from an unfortunate undergraduate that wrote “it's obviously not for students but for very educated humans or aliens” But it's not If it's difficult it's because of the subject matter and demanding professors and not from Kim's writing uite the contrary The problem with pure philosophy of mind is that the good old metaphysics kinda moved there so it stays uite abstract Most good philosophers use evidence from the neurosciences but for a general introduction that also has a historical mindset even if it is just the past 70 years or so it's not possible to focus on them And of course even with the help of the neurosciences there are still no answers in sight All the theories that manage to solve some problems end up creating new onesI read two editions of this as at the time of reading them I was considering pursuing a postgraduate program in philosophy of mind but now I decided against it The philosophy part is too abstract and armchair y and the neurosciences part too science y and constricting The newer edition is a welcomed improvement compared to the older Although Kim tries his best to present all theories fairly the book is structured in a way that points to reductive physicalism as the one having the last word This is less obvious in the newer edition Other than that I found the section on machine functionalism too detailed for what it offers while the one on the causalcorrelational approach too rushed and confusing I have previously read Sam Harris's Free Will that I consistently see derided as poor philosophy even though it is not a philosophical study Harris's book takes a decidedly reductive physicalist thus epiphenomenalist view on consciousness Funnily enough if Jaegwon's assessment of contemporary philosopher's views are accurate they seem to align reasonably well with Harris's I think the hate for Harris extends from 1 Joe Rogan philosophers 2 Harris's willingness to criticise IslamAnyway as a propaedeutic the third thorough and relatively undiluted propaedeutic in philosophy I have read in the last year Philosophy of Mind was uite successful It was not a fast read and became particularly wearing towards the end but I am becoming accustomed to the structure of examining philosophical arguments philosophical vernacular as a whole The phrase begging the uestion I now don't have to look up every fucking time because an intuitive reading using common usage of the word beg massively misdirects Really they should just use presupposing a premise

Philosophy of Mind Epub Û Philosophy of  Epub /
  • Paperback
  • 352 pages
  • Philosophy of Mind (Dimensions of Philosophy)
  • Jaegwon Kim
  • English
  • 20 September 2015
  • 9780813342696