Philosophy of Mind: A Contemporary Introduction, 3rd Edition (Paperback) book cover

Philosophy of Mind

A Contemporary Introduction, 3rd Edition

By John Heil


304 pages

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When first published, John Heil's introduction quickly became a widely used guide for students with little or no background in philosophy to central issues of philosophy of mind.  Heil provided an introduction free of formalisms, technical trappings, and specialized terminology.  He offered clear arguments and explanations, focusing on the ontological basis of mentality and its place in the material world.  The book concluded with a systematic discussion of questions the book raises--and a sketch of a unified metaphysics of mind--thus inviting scholarly attention while providing a book very well suited for an introductory course.

This Third Edition builds on these strengths, and incorporates new material on theories of consciousness, computationalism, the language of thought, and animal minds as well as other emerging areas of research.  With an updated reading list at the end of each chapter and a revised bibliography, this new edition will again make it the indispensable primer for anyone seeking better understanding of the central metaphysical issues in philosophy of mind. 


John Heil’s book is the very best of its kind and is a masterly achievement, managing to stay clear, accessible and engaging without sacrificing either intellectual rigor or philosophical depth. The new additions bring readers right up to date with the latest trends and ideas.

-E. J. Lowe, Durham University

Heil’s introduction encourages students to engage the philosophy of mind with the penetrating attitude of a true metaphysician. This third edition features new content, including the topic of panpsychism, which has enjoyed renewed interest from philosophers of mind. These new materials are presented with the same ontological seriousness and accessibility that has made previous editions so attractive. Anyone teaching the philosophy of mind using a previous edition of Heil’s text will find this latest edition a worthy update to their course.

-Joseph A. Baltimore, West Virginia University

Table of Contents

1. Introduction 2. Cartesian Dualism 3. Descartes's Legacy 4. Behaviorism 5. The Identity Theory 6. Functionalism 7 .The Representational Theory of Mind 8. The Intentional Stance9. Eliminativism 10. Conscsiousness 11. Non-Reductive Physicalism 12. Mind and Metaphysics 13. The Mind's Place in Nature

About the Author

John Heil is Professor of Philosophy at Washington University in Saint Lous. His previous publications include The Universe as We Find It (2012) and From an Ontological Point of View (2003).

About the Series

Routledge Contemporary Introductions to Philosophy

An innovative, well structured series, the Routledge Contemporary Introductions to Philosophy are designed for students who already have completed an introductory-level course in philosophy.  Each book introduces a core general subject in contemporary philosophy and offers students an accessible but substantial transition from introductory to higher-level college work in that subject.  The series is accessible to non-specialists and each book clearly motivates and expounds the problems and positions introduced.  An orientating chapter briefly introduces its topic and reminds readers of any crucial material they need to have retained from a typical introductory course.  Considerable attention is given to explaining central philosophical problems of a subject and the main competing solutions and arguments for those solutions.  The primary aim is to educate students in the main problems, positions and arguments of contemporary philosophy rather than to convince students of a single position.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PHILOSOPHY / Epistemology
PHILOSOPHY / Free Will & Determinism