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Mind in a Physical World

Jaegwon Kim (MIT Press: Jan 2000), 156 pages.

This book, based on Jaegwon Kim’s 1996 Townsend Lectures, presents the philosopher’s current views on a variety of issues in the metaphysics of the mind — in particular, the mind-body problem, mental causation, and reductionism. Kim construes the mind-body problem as that of finding a place for the mind in a world that is fundamentally physical. Among other points, he redefines the roles of supervenience and emergence in the discussion of the mind-body problem. Arguing that various contemporary accounts of mental causation are inadequate, he offers his own partially reductionist solution on the basis of a novel model of reduction. Retaining the informal tone of the lecture format, the book is clear yet sophisticated. ~ Product Description • “Mr. Kim has long been a lone voice against the dominant functionalist orthodoxy, but the tide now seems to be turning in his favor. In this book he elegantly cuts through the baroque structure of recent philosophical debate, and displays the flaws common to the various sophisticated alternatives.” ~ The Economist

Table of Contents

    • Preface
  • Chapter 1
    • The Mind-Body Problem: Where We Now Are
    • Supervenience, Realization, and Emergence
    • Supervenience Is Not a Mind-Body Theory
    • The Layered Model and Mereological Supervenience
    • Physical Realizationism
    • Physical Realizationism Explains Mind-Body Supervenience
  • Chapter 2
    • The Many Problems of Mental Causation
    • Three Problems of Mental Causation
    • The Supervenience Argument, or Descartes’s Revenge
    • Searle, Fodor, and the Supervenience Argument
    • Block’s Worries about Second-Order Properties
  • Chapter 3
    • Mental Causation: The Backlash and Free Lunches
    • Unavoidability of Metaphysics: The Exclusion Problem
    • Do Counterfactuals Help?
    • “Program Explanation” and Supervenient Causation
    • Does the Problem of Mental Causation Generalize?
    • Properties: “Levels” and “Orders”
  • Chapter 4
    • Reduction and Reductionism: A New Look
    • Nagel Reduction: Troubles with “Bridge Laws”
    • The Functional Model of Reduction
    • Functional Properties versus Functional Concepts
    • Multiple Realization Again
    • The Supervenience Argument Revisited
    • The Options: Good News and Bad News
    • Notes
    • References
    • Index