Recent Work in the Philosophy of Mind
Baker (Lynne Rudder)
Source: Philosophical Books, 30:1–10, 1989
Paper - Abstract

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Author’s Abstract

  1. Philosophy of mind, a hybrid of philosophy of psychology, philosophy of language, metaphysics and epistemology, has come of age. Even with lingering unclarity in the notion of mental representation, many take the field to be on the threshold of genuine progress. Whether the hopes are frustrated or fulfilled, there is little doubt that the questions on centre stage are fundamental ones: As responsible thinkers informed by developments of science, how are we to understand mental phenomena? What kinds of states will be invoked by a scientific psychology, which aims at causal explanation of behaviour?
  2. Despite the widespread optimism about the prospects for a comprehensive science of the mind, there is less than universal agreement about what form it will assume. As a result, philosophy of mind is tendentious and the battles sometimes bitter. Although I have joined the fray elsewhere (in "Baker (Lynne Rudder) - Saving Belief: A Critique of Physicalism", 1987), I think that readers of this brief survey of somewhat technical work will be served better by a more descriptive essay that sets out issues and suggests problems, but aims primarily to be a bibliographic guide. With the bevy of noteworthy books published in the past couple of years, however, I am forced to be selective.

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