Description : In this challenging book, David Hodgson takes a fresh approach to the question of free will, contending that close consideration of human rationality and human consciousness shows that together they give us free will, in a robust and indeterministic sense, and in a way that is consistent with what science tells us about the world.
Description : Beyond Human investigates what it means to call ourselves human beings in relation to both our distant past and our possible futures as a species, and the questions this might raise for our relationship with the myriad species with which we share the planet. Drawing on insights from zoology, theology, cultural studies and aesthetics, an international line-up of contributors explore such topics as our origins as reflected in early cave art in the upper Palaeolithic through to our prospects at the forefront of contemporary biotechnology. In the process, the book positions "the human" in readiness for what many have characterized as our transhuman or posthuman future. For if our status as rational animals or "animals that think" has traditionally distinguished us as apparently superior to other species, this distinction has become increasingly problematic. It has come to be seen as based on skills and technologies that do not distinguish us so much as position us as transitional animals. It is the direction and consequences of this transition that is the central concern of Beyond Human.
Description : 'Plain' persons tend to accept that free will exists and is inconsistent with determinism, but this commonsense position is widely debunked by professional philosophers and cognitive scientists. David Hodgson defends a simple, robust account of the plain person's position on free will, and intends it to support equally robust views of personal responsibility for conduct
Description : The Veritas Series brings to market original volumes all engaging in critical questions of pressing concern to both philosophers, theologians, biologists, economists and more. The Veritas Series refuses to accept disciplinary isolation: both for theology and for other disciplines. The Recalcitrant Imago Dei offers a critical discussion of naturalism, the idea that all phenomena can be explained by the physical sciences.
Description : A radical approach to the philosophy of mind, in which states of mind are identified with dispositions to behave in certain ways.The approach taken by Rowland Stout is a thoroughly up-to-date version of behaviourism, although not a form of behaviourism that denies the existence of consciousness, free will, rationality, etc., nor aims to reduce these to other sorts of things. Properly understood, the idea of being disposed to behave in a certain way is seen to be exactly as rich and interesting as the idea of being in a certain state of mind. The fact that our ways of behaving are sensitive to practical rationality is taken to be an essential aspect of our nature as conscious agents. And in describing such a version of practical rationality Stout claims we are describing the mental state of someone whose behaviour is sensitive to it.His account of behaviourism rests on two central notions - that of a causal disposition to behave and that of sensitivity to practical rationality. He explains and develops these notions in some detail, and then uses them to construct powerful and original accounts of belief, intention, knowledge, perception and consciousness.Key Features* A systematic and completely original theoretical approach to the philosophy of mind* A re-evaluation of the history of the philosophy of mind based on a rejection of the generally accepted arguments in the 1960s and 1970s used by functionalists against behaviourists* A serious engagement with the intuitively compelling issues concerning behaviourism.
Description : Objectivity is both an essential and elusive philosophical concept. This Very Short Introduction explores the theoretical and practical problems raised by objectivity, and also deals with the way in which particular understandings of objectivity impinge on social research, science, and art.
Description : Challenge the scientific denial of the soul's existence with a book that proves that the brain is not the sole explanation behind human thought and behavior. Casimir J. Bonk, a longtime engineer and student of metaphysics, has found physical scientific evidence of the nonphysical soul through his investigations of reincarnated subjects who can recall experiences from previous lives. Discover why Descartes Was Right! Souls Do Exist and Reincarnation Proves It. For instance: * Dr. Ian Stevenson and others have shown that reincarnated subjects can recall details from past lives, proving that the brain is not the prime location of memory. If memory were physical, it would cease upon death. * By contrasting metaphysical views of the world with scientific theories, an original description of human duality explains the true nature of humanity. * Using an engineer's approach, uncover how the brain really works and why science fails to explain the memories of the reincarnated. Close the gap between the physical and nonphysical worlds and answer the questions about human nature that have haunted the world forever in Descartes Was Right! Souls Do Exist and Reincarnation Proves It.
Description : There is no question: We are all persons. But what exactly are persons? Are we immaterial souls or Cartesian Egos which only contingently have bodies? Or are persons nothing over and above their bodies? Are they essentially or most fundamentally animals, evolved beings of a certain sort? Or are we something other or more than animals, namely constituted beings with a certain capacity that distinguishes persons from everything else? What is necessary, and what is sufficient, for an entity to be classified or (re-)identified as a person? What's the value of an analysis of such (biological or psychological) conditions? What does it contribute to our understanding of ourselves as free agents or as beings wanting to live their individual live? The essays collected in this anthology try to answer these questions. They are primarily concerned with the metaphysics of persons and the criteria of personal identity, but also touch on problems of the theory of action and of practical philosophy.
Description : The study of rationality and practical reason, or rationality in action, has been central to Western intellectual culture. In this invigorating book, John Searle lays out six claims of what he calls the Classical Model of rationality and shows why they are false. He then presents an alternative theory of the role of rationality in thought and action. A central point of Searle's theory is that only irrational actions are directly caused by beliefs and desires—for example, the actions of a person in the grip of an obsession or addiction. In most cases of rational action, there is a gap between the motivating desire and the actual decision making. The traditional name for this gap is "freedom of the will." According to Searle, all rational activity presupposes free will. For rationality is possible only where one has a choice among various rational as well as irrational options. Unlike many philosophical tracts, Rationality in Action invites the reader to apply the author's ideas to everyday life. Searle shows, for example, that contrary to the traditional philosophical view, weakness of will is very common. He also points out the absurdity of the claim that rational decision making always starts from a consistent set of desires. Rational decision making, he argues, is often about choosing between conflicting reasons for action. In fact, humans are distinguished by their ability to be rationally motivated by desire-independent reasons for action. Extending his theory of rationality to the self, Searle shows how rational deliberation presupposes an irreducible notion of the self. He also reveals the idea of free will to be essentially a thesis of how the brain works.
Description : The problem of consciousness continues to be a subject of great debate in cognitive science. Synthesizing decades of research, The Conscious Brain advances a new theory of the psychological and neurophysiological correlates of conscious experience. Prinz's account of consciousness makes two main claims: first consciousness always arises at a particular stage of perceptual processing, the intermediate level, and, second, consciousness depends on attention. Attention changes the flow of information allowing perceptual information to access memory systems. Neurobiologically, this change in flow depends on synchronized neural firing. Neural synchrony is also implicated in the unity of consciousness and in the temporal duration of experience. Prinz also explores the limits of consciousness. We have no direct experience of our thoughts, no experience of motor commands, and no experience of a conscious self. All consciousness is perceptual, and it functions to make perceptual information available to systems that allows for flexible behavior. Prinz concludes by discussing prevailing philosophical puzzles. He provides a neuroscientifically grounded response to the leading argument for dualism, and argues that materialists need not choose between functional and neurobiological approaches, but can instead combine these into neurofunctional response to the mind-body problem. The Conscious Brain brings neuroscientific evidence to bear on enduring philosophical questions, while also surveying, challenging, and extending philosophical and scientific theories of consciousness. All readers interested in the nature of consciousness will find Prinz's work of great interest.