Review [Book Review]

Erkenntnis 29 (1):143-146 (1988)
As Flanagan remarks at the outset, many philosophers and researchers in the cognitive and neurosciences today believe that a naturalistic solution to the mind-body problem will eventually be found. Optimistic attitudes of this sort are usually inspired by the remarkable theoretical success so far achieved under the information-processing approach. The information-processing approach rests on a number of ubiquitous background assumptions. The most central of these is that treating human beings and their brains as information-processing systems may open precisely those levels of description under which the classical philosophical questions can be reformulated and finally answered. Many philosophers today try to treat traditional puzzles in this field - like the mind-brain-relationship, intentionality or self-awareness - by analyzing them in a top-down-fashion, i.e. by reformulating them in an information-processing terminology. In doing so one of their goals, usually, is eventually to naturalize those theoretical problems, to transform them into problems tractable by empirical science.
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