Unsnarling the World-Knot: Consciousness, Freedom, and the Mind-Body Problem

Unsnarling the World-Knot: Consciousness, Freedom, and the Mind-Body Problem

by David Ray Griffin
     
 

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The mind-body problem, which Schopenhauer called the "world-knot," has been a central problem for philosophy since the time of Descartes. Among realists-those who accept the reality of the physical world-the two dominant approaches have been dualism and materialism, but there is a growing consensus that, if we are ever to understand how mind and body are related, a

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Overview

The mind-body problem, which Schopenhauer called the "world-knot," has been a central problem for philosophy since the time of Descartes. Among realists-those who accept the reality of the physical world-the two dominant approaches have been dualism and materialism, but there is a growing consensus that, if we are ever to understand how mind and body are related, a radically new approach is required.

David Ray Griffin develops a third form of realism, one that resolves the basic problem (common to dualism and materialism) of the continued acceptance of the Cartesian view of matter. In dialogue with various philosophers, including Dennett, Kim, McGinn, Nagel, Seager, Searle, and Strawson, Griffin shows that materialist physicalism is even more problematic than dualism. He proposes instead a panexperientialist physicalism grounded in the process philosophy of Alfred North Whitehead. Answering those who have rejected "panpsychism" as obviously absurd, Griffin argues compellingly that panexperientialism, by taking experience and spontaneity as fully natural, can finally provide a naturalistic account of the emergence of consciousness-an account that also does justice to the freedom we all suppose in practice.

About the Author:
David Ray Griffin is codirector of the Center for Process Studies and Professor Emeritus of Philosophy of Religion at Claremont School of Theology and Claremont Graduate University

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Editorial Reviews

Times Literary Supplement
We owe David Ray Griffin thanks for presenting a careful and well-informed defense of the panpsychist option, a welcome inoculation against a tide of scientistic, if not scientific, accounts of mind.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781556357558
Publisher:
Wipf & Stock Publishers
Publication date:
03/28/2008
Pages:
282
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)

Meet the Author

David Ray Griffin is Professor of Philosophy of Religion at Claremont School of Theology and Claremont Graduate School. His previous books include Physics and the Ultimate Significance of Time (1986), Evil Revisited (1991), and Founders of Constructive Postmodern Philosophy (1992).

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