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Hardcover | ISBN: 9780262041492 | 224 pp. | 5.2 x 7.9 in | July 1995
Paperback | $24.00 Short | £16.95 | ISBN: 9780262540896 | 224 pp. | 5.2 x 7.9 in | August 1997

Instructor Resources

Naturalizing The Mind


How can the baffling problems of phenomenal experience be accounted for? In this provocative book, Fred Dretske argues that to achieve an understanding of the mind it is not enough to understand the biological machinery by means of which the mind does its job. One must understand what the mind's job is and how this task can be performed by a physical system—the nervous system.

Naturalizing the Mind skillfully develops a representational theory of the qualitative, the phenomenal, the what-it-is-like aspects of the mind that have defied traditional forms of naturalism. Central to Dretske's approach is the claim that the phenomenal aspects of perceptual experiences are one and the same as external, real-world properties that experience represents objects as having. Combined with an evolutionary account of sensory representation, the result is a completely naturalistic account of phenomenal consciousness.

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About the Author

Fred Dretske is Senior Research Scholar in the Department of Philosophy, Duke University.