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Philosophy of Mind

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Virtue and Character

Philosophers have discussed virtue and character since Socrates, but many traditional views have been challenged by recent findings in psychology and neuroscience. This fifth volume of Moral Psychology grows out of this new wave of interdisciplinary work on virtue, vice, and character. It offers essays, commentaries, and replies by leading philosophers and scientists who explain and use empirical findings from psychology and neuroscience to illuminate virtue and character and related issues in moral philosophy.

Rationalists about the psychology of moral judgment argue that moral cognition has a rational foundation. Recent challenges to this account, based on findings in the empirical psychology of moral judgment, contend that moral thinking has no rational basis. In this book, Hanno Sauer argues that moral reasoning does play a role in moral judgment—but not, as is commonly supposed, because conscious reasoning produces moral judgments directly. Moral reasoning figures in the acquisition, formation, maintenance, and reflective correction of moral intuitions.

In this book, Mark Fedyk offers a novel analysis of the relationship between moral psychology and allied fields in the social sciences. Fedyk shows how the social sciences can be integrated with moral philosophy, argues for the benefits of such an integration, and offers a new ethical theory that can be used to bridge research between the two.

Cognitive Science and Human Experience

This classic book, first published in 1991, was one of the first to propose the “embodied cognition” approach in cognitive science. It pioneered the connections between phenomenology and science and between Buddhist practices and science—claims that have since become highly influential. Through this cross-fertilization of disparate fields of study, The Embodied Mind introduced a new form of cognitive science called “enaction,” in which both the environment and first person experience are aspects of embodiment.

This collection of readings shows how cognitive science can influence most of the primary branches of philosophy, as well as how philosophy critically examines the foundations of cognitive science. Its broad coverage extends beyond current texts that focus mainly on the impact of cognitive science on philosophy of mind and philosophy of psychology, to include materials that are relevant to five other branches of philosophy: epistemology, philosophy of science (and mathematics), metaphysics, language, and ethics.

Essays in Dialogue with John Haugeland

In his work, the philosopher John Haugeland (1945–2010) proposed a radical expansion of philosophy’s conceptual toolkit, calling for a wider range of resources for understanding the mind, the world, and how they relate. Haugeland argued that “giving a damn” is essential for having a mind—suggesting that traditional approaches to cognitive science mistakenly overlook the relevance of caring to the understanding of mindedness.

In this book, Michael Madary examines visual experience, drawing on both phenomenological and empirical methods of investigation. He finds that these two approaches—careful, philosophical description of experience and the science of vision—independently converge on the same result: Visual perception is an ongoing process of anticipation and fulfillment.

Philosophers from Descartes to Kripke have struggled with the glittering prize of modern and contemporary philosophy: the mind-body problem. The brain is physical. If the mind is physical, we cannot see how. If we cannot see how the mind is physical, we cannot see how it can interact with the body. And if the mind is not physical, it cannot interact with the body. Or so it seems.

Wittgenstein, Philosophy, and the Mind

The realistic spirit, a nonmetaphysical approach to philosophical thought concerned with the character of philosophy itself, informs all of the discussions in these essays by philosopher Cora Diamond. Diamond explains Wittgenstein's notoriously elusive later writings, explores the background to his thought in the work of Frege, and discusses ethics in a way that reflects his influence.

An Essay on the Content of Concepts

In cognitive science, conceptual content is frequently understood as the “meaning” of a mental representation. This position raises largely empirical questions about what concepts are, what form they take in mental processes, and how they connect to the world they are about. In Minds without Meaning, Jerry Fodor and Zenon Pylyshyn review some of the proposals put forward to answer these questions and find that none of them is remotely defensible.

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