Naturalizing the Mind by Fred Dretske

Naturalizing the Mind

byFred Dretske

Paperback | August 21, 1997

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How can the baffling problems of phenomenal experience be accounted for? In this provocative book, Fred Dretske argues that to achieve an understanding of the mind it is not enough to understand the biological machinery by means of which the mind does its job. One must understand what the mind's job is and how this task can be performed by a physical system -- the nervous system.

Naturalizing the Mind skillfully develops a representational theory of the qualitative, the phenomenal, the what-it-is-like aspects of the mind that have defied traditional forms of naturalism. Central to Dretske's approach is the claim that the phenomenal aspects of perceptual experiences are one and the same as external, real-world properties that experience represents objects as having. Combined with an evolutionary account of sensory representation, the result is a completely naturalistic account of phenomenal consciousness.

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About The Author

Frank Popper is Professor Emeritus of Aesthetics and the Science of Art at the University of Paris VIII. He is the author of Origins and Development of Kinetic Art, Art, Action, and Participation, Art of the Electronic Age, and other influential works on art and technology. Fred Dretske is Senior Research Scholar in the Department o...
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Details & Specs

Title:Naturalizing the MindFormat:PaperbackDimensions:224 pages, 7.9 × 5.2 × 0.5 inPublished:August 21, 1997Publisher:The MIT Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0262540894

ISBN - 13:9780262540896

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Naturalizing the Mind skillfully develops a representational theory of the qualitative, the phenomenal, the what-it-is-like aspects of the mind that have defied traditional forms of naturalism. Central to Dretske's approach is the claim that the phenomenal aspects of perceptual experiences are one and the same as external, real-world properties that experience represents objects as having. Combined with an evolutionary account of sensory representation, the result is a completely naturalistic account of phenomenal consciousness. Dretske's theory of naturalistic representationalism is perhaps the only approach to the study of consciousness that can satisfactorily pin down the slippery first-person aspect of our sensory and affective life. It distinguishes, in wholly naturalistic terms, between what we experience (reality) and how we experience it (appearance). The theory establishes a framework within which subjectivity can be studied objectively, explains the peculiar authority we enjoy about our own mental states, and provides a biologically plausible answer to q