In Matter and Consciousness, Paul Churchland clearly presents the advantages and disadvantages of such difficult issues in philosophy of mind as behaviorism,
reductive materialism, functionalism, and eliminative materialism. This new edition incorporates the striking developments that have taken place in neuroscience, cognitive science, and artificial intelligence and notes their expanding relevance to philosophical issues.
Churchland organizes and clarifies the new theoretical and experimental results of the natural sciences for a wider philosophical audience, observing that this research bears directly on questions concerning the basic elements of cognitive activity and their implementation in real physical systems. (How is it, he asks, that living creatures perform some cognitive tasks so swiftly and easily, where computers do them only badly or not at all?) Most significant for philosophy, Churchland asserts, is the support these results tend to give to the reductive and the eliminative versions of materialism.
"Anyone interested in using a contemporary approach to philosophy of mind in an introductory course will find Paul Churchland's Matter and Consciousness a useful text....
Churchland has a wonderful talent for linking ideas together." Kathleen Gill, TeachingPhilosophy
Kathleen Gill, Teaching Philosophy
Anyone interested in using a contemporary approach to philosophy of mind in an introductory course will find Paul Churchland's Matter and Consciousness a useful text.... Churchland has a wonderful talent for linking ideas together.
Paul M. Churchland is Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at the University of California, San
Diego. He is the author of The Engine of Reason, the Seat of the Soul, Matter and Consciousness: A Contemporary Introduction to the Philosophy of Mind
(both published by the MIT Press), and other books.