Matters of the Mind, Paperback Book

Matters of the Mind Paperback


In Matters of the Mind, the distinguished philosopher William Lyons presents a popular and authoritative account of the dramatically different ways in which philosophers have thought about the mind over the last hundred years.

He sets out the great debate about the nature of mind, focusing on the mind-body 'problem' and exploring the effect of the major turning points in recent western philosophy as well as the influence of the leading figures.

In providing this account, the narrative draws also upon work in psychology, neurophysiology and computing.

William Lyons explains how towards the end of the nineteenth century the mind was still regarded by most philosophers as a special sort of non-material thing, a soul, that inhabited the body like a ghost in a machine and was able to outlive the death of the bodily-machine.

He goes on to narrate how, in the twentieth century, following the upheavals in the new science of psychology, the astonishing advances in the brain sciences, the invention of the computer, and the increasing materialism of modern philosophy, a new view of the nature of mind emerged. Matters of the Mind tells the fascinating and compelling story of the crucial debates about the nature of mind in our time.

Features * Provides a popular, highly illustrated and readable account of philosophy of mind for general readers and students in philosophy, psychology, cognitive science, neurophysiology and computing * Presents a clear, non-technical overview of the main approaches within recent philosophy of mind, including Cartesianism, behaviourism, mind-brain identity theories, the coming of the computer, functionalism and the relationship of consciousness to brain processing * Offers numerous easy-to-understand examples * Sets the debates within their historical, intellectual and scientific contexts * Gives an up-to-date account of recent developments and issues for the future * Includes a Chronology of the philosophy and sciences of the mind in the twentieth century and an extensive Bibliography of references and further reading about the mind


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 320 pages, 60 black & white illustrations
  • Publisher: Edinburgh University Press
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Philosophy of mind
  • ISBN: 9780748614400

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