The Rediscovery of the Mind

MIT Press. Edited by Ned Block & Hilary Putnam (1992)
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Abstract

The title of The Rediscovery of the Mind suggests the question "When was the mind lost?" Since most people may not be aware that it ever was lost, we must also then ask "Who lost it?" It was lost, of course, only by philosophers, by certain philosophers. This passed unnoticed by society at large. The "rediscovery" is also likely to pass unnoticed. But has the mind been rediscovered by the same philosophers who "lost" it? Probably not. John Searle is an analytic philosopher, with some of the same notions as the positivists and behaviorists who rejected consciousness and "lost" the mind in the first place, but he also does not sound like the kind of reductionist who would have joined that crowd. His views, indeed, are sensible enough, and some of his insights so important, that it is a shame to find his thought profoundly limited by some of the same mistakes and prejudices that ruined philosophy, and not just philosophy of mind, under the influence of those positivists and behaviorists. There is enough of genuine value in his treatment, that it can easily be taken up and, with relatively slight modification, added to what is of permanent value in the history of philosophy.

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John R. Searle
University of California, Berkeley

Citations of this work

On a confusion about a function of consciousness.Ned Block - 1995 - Brain and Behavioral Sciences 18 (2):227-–247.
Philosophy of Mind: Classical and Contemporary Readings.David John Chalmers (ed.) - 2002 - New York: Oxford University Press USA.

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