The primary aim of this study is to dissolve the mind-body problem. It shows how the ‘problem’ separates into two distinct sets of issues, concerning ontology on the one hand, and explanation on the other, and argues that explanation – whether or not human behaviour can be explained in physical terms – is the more crucial.
The author contends that a functionalist methodology in psychology and neurophysiology will prove adequate to explain human behaviour. Defence of this thesis requires: an examination of the mental/physical dichotomy, and its rejection in favour of a distinction between psychological and physical terms; a description and discussion of functionalism in psychology and neurophysiology, showing how the notorious problem of the necessary intensionality of psychological terms may be circumvented; an examination of the role of computer simulation in psycho-physical research; and an explanation of how the phenomena of sentience fit the functional framework.
The book concludes that the thesis presented is in all essentials that of Aristotle; Aristotle had no ‘mind-body problem’, and were it not for a subsequent over-obsession with Cartesian scepticism, we need not have had one either.
1. Relations and Relata 2. Intensionality and Irreducibility 3. Psychology and ‘Psychology’ 4. Psychology and Practice 5. Robots and Research 6. Sensations and Sentience 7. Mind Undermined
Reissuing works originally published between 1949 and ‘79, this set presents a rich selection of renowned scholarship across the subject, touching also on ethics, religion, and psychology and other behavioural science. Classic previously out-of-print works are brought back into print here in this set of important discourse and theory.