Causality, Interpretation, and the Mind

Paperback | March 1, 1994

byWilliam Child

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William Child examines two central ideas in the philosophy of mind, and argues that (contrary to what many philosophers have thought) an understanding of the mind can and should include both. These are causalism, the idea that causality plays an essential role in our understanding of themental; and interpretationism, the idea that we can gain an understanding of belief and desire by considering the ascription of attitudes to people on the basis of what they say and do.

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Philosophers of mind have long been interested in the relation between two ideas: that causality plays an essential role in our understanding of the mental; and that we can gain an understanding of belief and desire by considering the ascription of attitudes to people on the basis of what they say and do. Many have thought that those i...

From the Publisher

William Child examines two central ideas in the philosophy of mind, and argues that (contrary to what many philosophers have thought) an understanding of the mind can and should include both. These are causalism, the idea that causality plays an essential role in our understanding of themental; and interpretationism, the idea that we c...

William Child is at University College, Oxford.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:244 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.63 inPublished:March 1, 1994Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198236255

ISBN - 13:9780198236252

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From Our Editors

Philosophers of mind have long been interested in the relation between two ideas: that causality plays an essential role in our understanding of the mental; and that we can gain an understanding of belief and desire by considering the ascription of attitudes to people on the basis of what they say and do. Many have thought that those ideas are incompatible. William Child argues that there is in fact no tension between them, and that we should accept them both. He shows how we can have a causal understanding of the mental without having to see attitudes and experiences as internal, causally interacting entities; and he defends this view against influential objections. The book offers detailed discussions of many of Donald Davidson's contributions to the philosophy of mind, and also considers the work of Dennett, Anscombe, McDowell, and Rorty, among others. Issues discussed include: the nature of intentional phenomena; causal explanation; the character of visual experience; psychological explanation; and the causal relevance of mental properties.

Editorial Reviews

`readers harboring worries about the compatibility of the two views will find the book instructive. All readers will appreciate the clarity of Child's prose.'The Philosophical Review, vol.104, no.4, October 1995