<!DOCTYPE html><HTML lang="en"> <head><meta charset="utf-8"> <title>Saving Belief: A Critique of Physicalism (Baker (Lynne Rudder)) - Theo Todman's Book Collection (Book-Paper Abstracts)</title> <link href="../../../TheosStyle.css" rel="stylesheet" type="text/css"><link rel="shortcut icon" href="../../../TT_ICO.png" /> </head> <a name="Top"></a> <BODY> <div id="header"> <HR><H1>Theo Todman's Book Collection (Book-Paper Abstracts)</H1></div> <hr><CENTER><TABLE class = "Bridge" WIDTH=950><tr><td colspan =3><A HREF = "../BookSummary_1144.htm">Saving Belief: A Critique of Physicalism</A></td></tr><tr><td colspan =3><A HREF = "../../../Authors/B/Author_Baker (Lynne Rudder).htm">Baker (Lynne Rudder)</a></td></tr><tr><td colspan =3>This Page provides (where held) the <b>Abstract</b> of the above <b>Book</b> and those of all the <b>Papers</b> contained in it.</td></tr><tr><td><A HREF="#ColourConventions">Text Colour-Conventions</a></td><td><A HREF = "../BookCitings_1144.htm">Books / Papers Citing this Book</A></td><td><A HREF = "../BooksToNotes_1144.htm">Notes Citing this Book</A></td></tr></tr></TABLE></CENTER><hr> <P ALIGN = "Justify"><FONT Size = 2 FACE="Arial"><FONT COLOR = "0000FF"><B>BOOK ABSTRACT: </B><BR><BR><U>Cover Blurb</U><FONT COLOR = "800080"> <ol type="1"><li>This stimulating book critically examines a wide range of physicalistic conceptions of mind in the works of Jerry A. Fodor, Stephen P. Stich, Paul M. Churchland, Daniel C. Dennett, and others. Part I argues that intentional concepts cannot be reduced to nonintentional (and nonsemantic) concepts; Part II argues that intentional concepts are nevertheless indispensable to our cognitive enterprises and thus need no foundation in physicalism.</li><li>As a sustained challenge to the prevailing interpretation of cognitive science, this timely book fills a large gap in the philosophical literature. It is sure to spark controversy, yet its clarity makes it attractive as a text in upper-level undergraduate and graduate courses in philosophy of mind and cognitive science. Saving Belief should be read by philosophers, psychologists, and others interested in the philosophy of language, philosophy of mind, and cognitive science.</li><li> This book is a comprehensive attack on several of the views that have been most influential in the philosophy of psychology during the last two decades. Professor Baker argues that mentalistic notions should not be eliminated, and need not be explained in terms of other notions, in 'cognitive science.' The book is interesting and shows an honest concern for clear argumentation. It deserves a wide readership."<BR> Tyler Burge, University of California at Los Angeles</li><li>"This book is a provocative and relentlessly argued treatment of a deep and important topic: the fate of intentionality. Baker's arguments oblige those who wish to defend the current conception of cognitive science to rethink the discipline. She has put the ball squarely in the physicalists' court.... Despite the technical character of the topic, the book is wonderfully readable."<BR> John Heil, Davidson College</li><li>Lynne Rudder Baker is Professor of Philosophy at Middlebury College. </li></ol> </FONT><BR><U>Author s Preface</U> (Full Text)<FONT COLOR = "800080"> <ol type="1"><li>This book is a critical examination of the dominant philosophical interpretation of cognitive science: physicalism. A physicalist holds either that nonintentional and nonsemantic sufficient conditions can be specified for intentional states like belief, desire, and intention, or that there really are no such states identified by content. The first approach is reductive; the second, eliminative.</li><li>Part I examines reductive positions, formulated by Jerry A. Fodor and others, that aim to provide nonintentional sufficient conditions for belief. With the aid of a series of <a name="1"></a><A HREF="../../../Notes/Notes_0/Notes_32.htm">thought experiments</A><SUP>1</SUP>, I shall show (in Chapters Two, Three, and Four) the inadequacy of each such position, and then diagnose (in Chapter Five) the reason for the failure: Physicalists place incompatible constraints  one semantic and the other physical  on the concept of intentional content. Thus, I argue, no physicalistically acceptable notion of the content of a belief or other attitude will be forthcoming.</li><li>Part II examines eliminative positions, formulated by Stephen P. Stich, Paul M. Churchland, Patricia S. Churchland, Daniel C. Dennett, and others, that deny the existence of beliefs or other attitudes identified by content. In Chapter Six, I argue that the common-sense conception that invokes belief is not simply a theory subject to empirical disconfirmation, and in Chapter Seven, I argue that wholesale denial of the common-sense conception is self-defeating in various ways. After taking up Dennett's instrumentalistic construal of belief in Chapter Eight, I draw some modest conclusions in Chapter Nine. Prominent among these, I suggest that we may endorse naturalism without physicalism.</li><li>The upshot is that common-sense mentalistic and intentional notions need no foundation in physicalism. Their legitimacy is assured, not by any justification in nonintentional terms, but by their indispensable contribution to our cognitive enterprises.</li><li>This book is full of arguments, many of which raise hotly contested issues. Recognizing and even enjoying the controversial nature of the arguments, I have tried to make the book technically competent on the one hand, and lively and fun to read on the other. My hope is that many of those who profoundly disagree with my conclusions will find the argument clear enough and fair enough to be worth engaging seriously, if only to sharpen their own views. </li></ol> </FONT> <BR><U>Contents </U><FONT COLOR = "800080"><ol type="I"><b>INTRODUCTION</b> <ol type="1">Preface  ix<BR>Acknowledgments  xi<li>Common Sense and Physicalism  3 <ul type="disc"><li>Physicalism  4</li><li>Ways to Reduce  7</li><li>An Overview  11</li><li>Common Sense and Content  15</li></ul> </li></ol><li><B>PART I: WILL COGNITIVE SCIENCE SAVE BELIEF? </B> <ol start = "2" type="1"><li>Belief in Cognitive Science  23<ul type="disc"><li>Form and Content  23</li><li>An Anti-Cartesian Meditation  28</li><li>What If?  34</li><li>Consequences for Formality  37</li></ul></li><li>Mind and the Machine Analogy  43<ul type="disc"><li>The Machine Analogy  43</li><li>On Being Narrow: A Dilemma  51</li><li>First Horn: An Inconsistent Triad  55</li><li>Second Horn: Beliefs Are Not Functional States  60</li></ul></li><li>Unspeakable Thoughts  63<ul type="disc"><li>Phenomenological Accessibility  63</li><li>Complications  68</li><li>Observation Terms in Mentalese  72</li><li>More on Mentalese  77</li></ul></li><li>The Elusiveness of Content  85<ul type="disc"><li>Speaking One's Mind  88</li><li>Strategies and Assessments  90</li><li>Application: Belief as Reliable Indication  100</li><li>The Generality of the Results  105</li></ul> </li></ol></li><li><B>PART II: IS BELIEF OBSOLETE? </B> <ol start = "6" type="1"><li>How High the Stakes?  113<ul type="disc"><li>Collapse of a "Modified Panglossian View"  115</li><li>The Dead End of Theoretical Reduction  118</li><li>Is the Common-Sense Conception an Empirical Theory?  123</li><li>What's at Stake  128</li></ul></li><li>The Threat of Cognitive <U><A HREF="#On-Page_Link_B1144_2">Suicide</A></U><SUB>2</SUB><a name="On-Page_Return_B1144_2"></A>  134<ul type="disc"><li>Rational Acceptability at Risk  135</li><li>Assertion at Risk  138</li><li>Truth at Risk  143</li><li>The Upshot  147</li></ul></li><li>Instrumentalism: Back from the Brink?  149<ul type="disc"><li>Intentional System Theory  150</li><li>Belief, Rationality, and Design  155</li><li>The Status of the Stances  162</li><li>Ersatz Intentionality  163</li></ul></li><li>Where We Are Now  167<ul type="disc"><li>In Sum  167</li><li>Prospects for a Science of the Mind  169</li><li>Naturalism Without Physicalism?  172</li><li>Ineliminable Intentionality  174</li><li>Index  175</li></ul> </li></ol> </li></ol></FONT><BR><HR><BR><U><B>In-Page Footnotes</U> (<a name="2"></a>"<A HREF = "../../../BookSummaries/BookSummary_01/BookPaperAbstracts/BookPaperAbstracts_1144.htm">Baker (Lynne Rudder) - Saving Belief: A Critique of Physicalism</A>")</B><a name="On-Page_Link_B1144_2"></A><BR><BR><U><A HREF="#On-Page_Return_B1144_2"><B>Footnote 2</B></A></U>: An edited extract of this Chapter appeared as Chapter 24 ( Cognitive Suicide ) of Philosophy of Mind  A Guide and Anthology (John Heil, Ed.), OUP 2004. See <a name="W2786W"></a><A HREF = "http://people.umass.edu/lrb/files/bak04cogS.pdf" TARGET = "_top">Link</A>. <BR><BR><FONT COLOR = "0000FF"><HR><B>BOOK COMMENT: </B><BR><BR>Princeton University Press, 1987</P> <a name="ColourConventions"></a><hr><br><B><U>Text Colour Conventions</U> (see <A HREF="../../../Notes/Notes_10/Notes_1025.htm">disclaimer</a>)</B><OL TYPE="1"><LI><FONT COLOR = "0000FF">Blue</FONT>: Text by me; &copy; Theo Todman, 2018</li><LI><FONT COLOR = "800080">Mauve</FONT>: Text by correspondent(s) or other author(s); &copy; the author(s)</li></OL> </center> <BR><HR><BR><center> <TABLE class = "Bridge" WIDTH=950> <TR><TD WIDTH="30%">&copy; Theo Todman, June 2007 - August 2018.</TD> <TD WIDTH="40%">Please address any comments on this page to <A HREF="mailto:theo@theotodman.com">theo@theotodman.com</A>.</TD> <TD WIDTH="30%">File output: <time datetime="2018-08-02T02:49" pubdate>02/08/2018 02:49:58</time> <br><A HREF="../../../Notes/Notes_10/Notes_1010.htm">Website Maintenance Dashboard</A> </TD></TR><TD WIDTH="30%"><A HREF="#Top">Return to Top of this Page</A></TD> <TD WIDTH="40%"><A HREF="../../../Notes/Notes_11/Notes_1140.htm">Return to Theo Todman's Philosophy Page</A></TD> <TD WIDTH="30%"><A HREF="../../../index.htm">Return to Theo Todman's Home Page</A></TD> </TR></TABLE></CENTER><HR> </BODY> </HTML>