Consciousness and Mental Life

Kobo ebook | January 22, 2008

byDaniel N. Robinson

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In recent decades, issues that reside at the center of philosophical and psychological inquiry have been absorbed into a scientific framework variously identified as "brain science," "cognitive science," and "cognitive neuroscience." Scholars have heralded this development as revolutionary, but a revolution implies an existing method has been overturned in favor of something new. What long-held theories have been abandoned or significantly modified in light of cognitive neuroscience?

Consciousness and Mental Life questions our present approach to the study of consciousness and the way modern discoveries either mirror or contradict understandings reached in the centuries leading up to our own. Daniel N. Robinson does not wage an attack on the emerging discipline of cognitive science. Rather, he provides the necessary historical context to properly evaluate the relationship between issues of consciousness and neuroscience and their evolution over time.

Robinson begins with Aristotle and the ancient Greeks and continues through to René Descartes, David Hume, William James, Daniel Dennett, John Searle, Richard Rorty, Hilary Putnam, and Derek Parfit. Approaching the issue from both a philosophical and a psychological perspective, Robinson identifies what makes the study of consciousness so problematic and asks whether cognitive neuroscience can truly reveal the origins of mental events, emotions, and preference, or if these occurrences are better understood by studying the whole person, not just the brain. Well-reasoned and thoroughly argued, Consciousness and Mental Life corrects many claims made about the success of brain science and provides a valuable historical context for the study of human consciousness.

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In recent decades, issues that reside at the center of philosophical and psychological inquiry have been absorbed into a scientific framework variously identified as "brain science," "cognitive science," and "cognitive neuroscience." Scholars have heralded this development as revolutionary, but a revolution implies an existing method h...

Daniel N. Robinson is Distinguished Professor Emeritus at Georgetown University and a member of the philosophy faculty at Oxford University. Producing almost fifty volumes of work, he has received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the History of Psychology division of the American Psychological Association, the Distinguished Contribut...

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Format:Kobo ebookPublished:January 22, 2008Publisher:Columbia University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0231512805

ISBN - 13:9780231512800

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Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments
1. The Greeks (Again) and the "Consciousness" Problem
2. The Problem of Consciousness "Solved"
3. "Cartesianism" Revisited
4. Higher-Order Thought: A Machine in the Ghost
5. Self-Consciousness
6. Emotion
7. Motives, Desires, and Fulfillment
8. Plans: An Epilogue
Notes
Index

Editorial Reviews

Timely, engaging and thoughtful.... [An] educating tour through relevant key points in the history of philosophy.