Contemporary philosophers of mind often raise serious questions around the concepts of self, subjectivity, and ’the inner life’ on the grounds that such concepts have their origin in a discredited Cartesian metaphysics. The contention of this book is that the rejection of ’interiority’ and related concepts has been based on a time-honoured misreading of Descartes. In the course of exposing the misconceived anti-Cartesianism of a wide range of thinkers from Wittgenstein and Ryle to Dennett and Foucault, an attempt is made to clear a space for a new post-Cartesian conception of subjectivity - a conception of subjectivity which is consistent with at least some versions of materialism. The aim of this book is not to defend Cartesian dualism but to reclaim important concepts that have been anathematized by having been mistakenly associated with it.
Contents: Introduction; The case against privacy; The elimination of the inner process; The materialization of mind; The case against folk psychology; The mechanization of the inner life; The declension of subjectivity; The self discontinued; Bibliography; Index.