This collection of new and previously published essays reflects the major research and thought of one of today's preeminent philosophers of mind. The first seven essays are philosophical pieces that focus on mental representation and the foundations of intentionality; they are followed by four psychological essays on cognitive architecture. In his eloquent introduction, Fodor shows how the two areas are thematically united and epistemologically related, highlighting his interest in finding alternatives to holistic accounts of cognitive content.
Hilary Putnam, who may have been the first philosopher to advance the notion that the computer is an apt model for the mind, takes a radically new view of his own theory of functionalism in this book. Putnam argues that in fact the computational or functionalist analogy cannot answer the important questions about the nature of such mental states as belief, reasoning, rationality, and knowledge that lie at the heart of the philosophy of mind.
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.