The Mind in Nature

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Overview

What are the most fundamental features of the world? Do minds stand outside the natural order? Is a unified picture of mental and physical reality possible? The Mind in Nature provides a staunchly realist account of the world as a unified system incorporating both the mental and the physical. C. B. Martin, an original and influential exponent of "ontologically serious" metaphysics, echoes Locke's dictum that "all things that exist are only particulars", and argues that properties are powerful qualities. He also spells out the implications of this view for philosophical conceptions of causation, intentionality, consciousness, and the mind-body problem.

Martin emphasizes the importance of non-conscious "vegetative" systems, which provide clear examples of intentionality in the form of representational use. The slide from representational use to consciousness involves a change in the material of use, but not the form of representation. A concluding chapter provides an argument for the view that an ontology of particular substances and properties leads ineluctably to monism: the bus we board with Locke takes us directly to the world of Spinoza and Einstein. Along the way, we are led to understand the nature of minds and conscious states of mind in a way that avoids both reductionism (the idea that mental is reducible to the non-mental) and dualism (the idea that mental substances or properties differ dramatically from physical substances and properties).

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Martin's book is truly impressive and the fruit of many years of careful thought. It is masterful, insightful and clearly argued. It merits the close attention of anyone with an interest in ontology or the philosophy of mind."—Sophie Gibb, Analysis Reviews
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199234103
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 1/10/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 192
  • Product dimensions: 8.60 (w) x 5.60 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

C. B. Martin (1924-2008) was Professor of Philosophy at the University of Calgary.

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Table of Contents

Preface
Chapter 1. Introduction
Chapter 2. Dispositions and Conditionals
Chapter 3. Truthmakers and Disposition Lines: From Quark to Colleague
Chapter 4. Parts and Wholes
Chapter 5. Causality
Chapter 6. The Road to Pythagoreanism and Back
Chapter 7. Linguisticism and Pythagoreanism
Chapter 8. Protolanguage
Chapter 9. Use, Representational Use, and Content
Chapter 10. Emergence, Reduction, and Mental Chauvanism
Chapter 11. Dispositional Systems
Chapter 12. Two Jokes Explained
Chapter 13. Tactile-Motor-Kinaesthetic Perception
Chapter 14. Verbal Imagery
Chapter 15. Mind in Nature: A New View of the Mind
Chapter 16. Warps and Woof of Einstein
References
Index

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