The Science of Consciousness:

Chapter 2: The Mind-Body Proble,


What is the relationship between the physial brain and mental mind?


Links to useful web pages about the mind-body problem

The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosopy. The first stop for information on the philosophy and philosophers of mind (as well as the rest of philosophy). Entries are longer, more detailed, more technical, and considered more reliable than Wikipedia. Entries are edited. "Friends" can download very smart formatted PDFs for a very reasonable fee. Entries are occasionally updated.

David Chalmers' pages. Material about David Chalmers, his work, and the philosophy of mind in general.


Further reading

Jaworski, William (2011). The Philosophy of Mind: A Comprehensive Introduction. Wiley-Blackwell. Kindle version available. ISBN: 978-1444333688.

There are several books with a variant of this title. What attracted to me to this one was the promise in its publisher's description that it is "written in a clear, easy to read style that is free of technical jargon, and highly accessible to a broad readership". Well, it isn't. It isn't a bad book, but it doesn't stand out from all the other philosophy texts on the philosophy of mind. I was looking for a book I could recommend to a psychology or computer science undergraduate that they could read and get a good understanding of the basic issues. This book is aimed, or appears to be aimed, at philosophy undergraduates who already know something. I'm still searching for the perfect introduction. As well as the argument being difficult to follow, or perhaps expressed too quickly, it isn't at all free of technical jargon.

My second gripe is that the jargon isn't always standard. The author prefers some non-standard phrases, which he might technically be correct, will confuse students. Forgoing property dualism is one example.

My third complaint is that he makes no effort to be neutral, preferring a theory of mind called hylomorphism. I hadn't heard of it either, and some space is devoted to it that might have been spent for an introduction.

Finally, as with all these books, it looks dull and unfriendly. Why can't publishers be a little bit imaginative with presenting philosophy texts?

It's not a bad book, and certainly no worse than its competitors, but given the promises I was disappointed. It's also available for Kindle, unlike many of these books. My main complaint is that in spite of the title it is no introduction. My plan is to read it again in a year or so and see if I get anything more from it.