Philosophy of Mind: A Contemporary Introduction
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Philosophy of Mind: A Contemporary Introduction (Routledge Contemporary Introductions to Philosophy)

3.38 of 5 stars 3.38  ·  rating details  ·  47 ratings  ·  7 reviews
This comprehensive textbook, written by a leading author in the field, provides a survey of mainstream conceptions of the nature of mind accessible to readers with little or no background in philosophy. Included are the dualist, behaviourist, and functionalist accounts of the nature of mind, along with a critical assessment of recent trends in the subject. The problem of c...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published June 26th 1998 by Routledge (first published May 28th 1998)
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Richard Newton
This book is a very good introduction to philosophy of mind, in parts. As a general introduction it is very good. There are parts which explain things more clearly than any other similar textbook I have read (e.g. Kim's philosophy of mind). But it is not a deep as Kim's book and the coverage is not as thorough - for example I found nothing on anomalous monism, which I would have thought was a fairly central part of contemporary philosophy of mind. Additionally, the last two chapters, which whils...more
Heil does an admirable job of presenting in a fairly clear fashion the major schools of thought in the philosophy of mind. Beware that he does have his own views and presents them unapologetically in the last two chapters (a view I disagree with, actually) but he gives fair warning at the beginning of the book. He takes a lot of time to discuss why neuroscience alone cannot be the final arbiter of the important questions, particularly when it comes to understanding the basic nature of consciousn...more
Can't say I was too much of a fan of Heil's approach or his own theory he presents in the final two chapters. He's just not a very good writer, and much of this book seems sort of dry. It's a somewhat useful book for those looking for a very short introductory text, but I think that Phil of Mind unlike, say, Ethics, works best with a historical introduction. The problem here is that Heil essentially works by telling us about theories and their proponents, and then briefly the major pros and cons...more
This book provided me with exactly what I was looking for- a detailed introduction to the various theories of mind which are circulating among contemporary philosophers. Heil provides his opinion of the strengths and weaknesses of each theory and more importantly provides an extensive suggested reading list at the end of each chapter. The book is not light reading but I would have been disappointed if it was. This is not "fast food" philosophy the content requires thought and some familiarity wi...more
The emphasis on ontology makes for tough going at times, but it seems to me, at least, that Heil is right to insist on its importance for doing philosophy of mind. A very lucid guide to a very interesting subject.
It was fine. Definitely useful, but maybe trying too hard to push metaphysics on the situation. However, I know many appreciate that about Heil.
This one was a textbook. Nevertheless, its the best introduction to philosophy of mind out there.
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