Fred Dretske

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

  • Naturalizing The Mind

    Naturalizing The Mind

    Fred Dretske

    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.

    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.

    * Not for sale in France or Belgium.

    • Hardcover $27.00 £22.00
    • Paperback $30.00 £25.00
  • Explaining Behavior

    Explaining Behavior

    Reasons in a World of Causes

    Fred Dretske

    Why do human beings move? In this lucid portrayal of human behavior, Fred Dretske provides an original account of the way reasons function in the causal explanation of behavior. Biological science investigates what makes our bodies move in the way they do. Psychology is interested in why persons—agents with reasons—move in the way they do. Dretske attempts to reconcile these different points of view by showing how reasons operate in a world of causes. He reveals in detail how the character of our inner states—what we believe, desire, and intend—determines what we do.

    • Hardcover $24.95
    • Paperback $25.00 £20.00
    • CD-ROM $18.95
  • Knowledge and the Flow of Information

    Knowledge and the Flow of Information

    Fred Dretske

    What distinguishes clever computers from stupid people (besides their components)? The author of Seeing and Knowing presents in his new book a beautifully and persuasively written interdisciplinary approach to traditional problems—a clearsighted interpretation of information theory. Psychologists, biologists, computer scientists, and those seeking a general unified picture of perceptual-cognitive activity will find this provocative reading. The problems Dretske addresses in Knowledge and the Flow of Information—What is knowledge? How are the sensory and cognitive processes related? What makes mental activities mental?—appeal to a wide audience. The conceptual tools used to deal with these questions (information, noise, analog versus digital coding, etc.) are designed to make contact with, and exploit the findings of, empirical work in the cognitive sciences. A concept of information is developed, one deriving from (but not identical with) the Shannon idea familiar to communication theorists, in terms of which the analyses of knowledge, perception, learning, and meaning are expressed. The book is materialistic in spirit—that is, spiritedly materialistic—devoted to the view that mental states and processes are merely special ways physical systems have of processing, coding, and using information.

    • Hardcover
    • Paperback $35.00 £28.00

Contributor

  • Knowledge and Skepticism, Volume 5

    Knowledge and Skepticism, Volume 5

    Joseph Keim Campbell, Michael O'Rourke, and Harry S. Silverstein

    New essays by leading philosophers explore topics in epistemology, offering both contemporary philosophical analysis and historical perspectives.

    There are two main questions in epistemology: What is knowledge? And: Do we have any of it? The first question asks after the nature of a concept; the second involves grappling with the skeptic, who believes that no one knows anything. This collection of original essays addresses the themes of knowledge and skepticism, offering both contemporary epistemological analysis and historical perspectives from leading philosophers and rising scholars. Contributors first consider knowledge: the intrinsic nature of knowledge—in particular, aspects of what distinguishes knowledge from true belief; the extrinsic examination of knowledge, focusing on contextualist accounts; and types of knowledge, specifically perceptual, introspective, and rational knowledge. The final chapters offer various perspectives on skepticism. Knowledge and Skepticism provides an eclectic yet coherent set of essays by distinguished scholars and important new voices. The cutting-edge nature of its contributions and its interdisciplinary character make it a valuable resource for a wide audience—for philosophers of language as well as for epistemologists, and for psychologists, decision theorists, historians, and students at both the advanced undergraduate and graduate levels.

    Contributors Kent Bach, Joseph Keim Campbell, Joseph Cruz, Fred Dretske, Catherine Z. Elgin, Peter S. Fosl, Peter J. Graham, David Hemp, Michael O'Rourke, George Pappas, John L. Pollock, Duncan Pritchard, Joseph Salerno, Robert J. Stainton, Harry S. Silverstein, Joseph Thomas Tolliver, Leora Weitzman

    • Hardcover $15.75 £12.99
    • Paperback $8.75 £6.99
  • An Invitation to Cognitive Science, Second Edition, Volume 2

    An Invitation to Cognitive Science, Second Edition, Volume 2

    Visual Cognition

    Stephen M. Kosslyn and Daniel N. Osherson

    An Invitation to Cognitive Science provides a point of entry into the vast realm of cognitive science, offering selected examples of issues and theories from many of its subfields. All of the volumes in the second edition contain substantially revised and as well as entirely new chapters.

    Rather than surveying theories and data in the manner characteristic of many introductory textbooks in the field, An Invitation to Cognitive Science employs a unique case study approach, presenting a focused research topic in some depth and relying on suggested readings to convey the breadth of views and results. Each chapter tells a coherent scientific story, whether developing themes and ideas or describing a particular model and exploring its implications.

    The volumes are self contained and can be used individually in upper-level undergraduate and graduate courses ranging from introductory psychology, linguistics, cognitive science, and decision sciences, to social psychology, philosophy of mind, rationality, language, and vision science.

    • Hardcover $60.00
    • Paperback $50.00 £40.00