The Mind's Provisions: A Critique of Cognitivism

The Mind's Provisions: A Critique of Cognitivism

by Vincent Descombes
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

Vincent Descombes brings together an astonishingly large body of philosophical and anthropological thought to present a thoroughgoing critique of contemporary cognitivism and to develop a powerful new philosophy of the mind.Beginning with a critical examination of American cognitivism and French structuralism, Descombes launches a more general critique of all… See more details below

Overview

Vincent Descombes brings together an astonishingly large body of philosophical and anthropological thought to present a thoroughgoing critique of contemporary cognitivism and to develop a powerful new philosophy of the mind.Beginning with a critical examination of American cognitivism and French structuralism, Descombes launches a more general critique of all philosophies that view the mind in strictly causal terms and suppose that the brain--and not the person--thinks. Providing a broad historical perspective, Descombes draws surprising links between cognitivism and earlier anthropological projects, such as Lévi-Strauss's work on the symbolic status of myths. He identifies as incoherent both the belief that mental states are detached from the world and the idea that states of mind are brain states; these assumptions beg the question of the relation between mind and brain.In place of cognitivism, Descombes offers an anthropologically based theory of mind that emphasizes the mind's collective nature. Drawing on Wittgenstein, he maintains that mental acts are properly attributed to the person, not the brain, and that states of mind, far from being detached from the world, require a historical and cultural context for their very intelligibility.Available in English for the first time, this is the most outstanding work of one of France's finest contemporary philosophers. It provides a much-needed link between the continental and Anglo-American traditions, and its impact will extend beyond philosophy to anthropology, psychology, critical theory, and French studies.

Read More

Editorial Reviews

Metapsychology Online Reviews
The real strength and the delight of Descombes' (and Schwartz's) book—once one struggles through the more difficult passages—is the treatment he offers to some of the most influential ideas (Jerry Fodor's language of thought) and thought experiments (Putnam's twin Earth, Alan Turing's imitation game, John Searle's Chinese room) in the recent history of philosophy of mind.
— Joel Parthemore
Metapsychology Online Reviews - Joel Parthemore
The real strength and the delight of Descombes' (and Schwartz's) book—once one struggles through the more difficult passages—is the treatment he offers to some of the most influential ideas (Jerry Fodor's language of thought) and thought experiments (Putnam's twin Earth, Alan Turing's imitation game, John Searle's Chinese room) in the recent history of philosophy of mind.
From the Publisher

"The real strength and the delight of Descombes' (and Schwartz's) book--once one struggles through the more difficult passages--is the treatment he offers to some of the most influential ideas (Jerry Fodor's language of thought) and thought experiments (Putnam's twin Earth, Alan Turing's imitation game, John Searle's Chinese room) in the recent history of philosophy of mind."--Joel Parthemore, Metapsychology Online Reviews

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780691146669
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
01/24/2010
Series:
New French Thought Series
Pages:
304
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.80(d)

Related Subjects

Meet the Author


Vincent Descombes is the author of "Modern French Philosophy, Objects of All Sorts: A Philosophical Grammar, Proust: Philosophy of the Novel", and "The Barometer of Modern Reason: On the Philosophies of Current Events". Stephen Adam Schwartz, who teaches in the Department of French, University College Dublin, translated Descombe's "The Barometer of Modern Reason".

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >