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

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...

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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.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781556357558
  • Publisher: Wipf & Stock Publishers
  • Publication date: 3/28/2008
  • Pages: 282
  • Sales rank: 1,371,290
  • 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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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Key to Abbreviations
Introduction 1
1 What Is the Problem? 9
2 Paradigmatic and Wishful-and-Fearful Thinking 11
3 Confusion about Common Sense 15
4 Regulative Principles 22
5 Data 33
6 Problems of Dualism and Materialism and Their Common Root 46
7 Fully Naturalizing the Mind: The Neglected Alternative 77
8 Matter, Consciousness, and the Fallacy of Misplaced Concreteness 117
9 Compound Individuals and Freedom 163
10 Supervenience and Panexperientialist Physicalism 218
Notes 243
Bibliography 249
Index 259
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