Galen Strawson

Galen Strawson taught philosophy at the University of Oxford for twenty years before moving to the University of Reading in 2001. He was Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at the City University of New York Graduate Center from 2004-2007.

  • Mental Reality, Second Edition, With A New Appendix

    Mental Reality, Second Edition, With A New Appendix

    Galen Strawson

    An argument against neobehaviorism and for "naturalized Cartesianism," which couples a wholly materialist approach to the mind with a fully realist attitude to the phenomena of conscious experience.

    In Mental Reality, Galen Strawson argues that much contemporary philosophy of mind gives undue primacy of place to publicly observable phenomena, nonmental phenomena, and behavioral phenomena (understood as publicly observable phenomena) in its account of the nature of mind. It does so at the expense of the phenomena of conscious experience. Strawson describes an alternative position, "naturalized Cartesianism," which couples the materialist view that mind is entirely natural and wholly physical with a fully realist account of the nature of conscious experience. Naturalized Cartesianism is an adductive (as opposed to reductive) form of materialism. Adductive materialists don't claim that conscious experience is anything less than we ordinarily conceive it to be, in being wholly physical. They claim instead that the physical is something more than we ordinarily conceive it to be, given that many of the wholly physical goings on in the brain constitute—literally are—conscious experiences as we ordinarily conceive them.

    Since naturalized Cartesianism downgrades the place of reference to nonmental and publicly observable phenomena in an adequate account of mental phenomena, Strawson considers in detail the question of what part such reference still has to play. He argues that it is a mistake to think that all behavioral phenomena are publicly observable phenomena.This revised and expanded edition of Mental Reality includes a new appendix, which thoroughly revises the account of intentionality given in chapter 7.

    • Paperback $35.00 £28.00
  • Mental Reality

    Mental Reality

    Galen Strawson

    What is distinctive of the mental? In Mental Reality, Galen Strawson argues that the answer is not intelligence, representational content, or intentionality broadly understood, but conscious experience. Strawson challenges neobehaviorist accounts of the mental. He argues that much contemporary philosophy of mind is still confused by positivism and its various offspring. It gives undue primacy of place to nonmental phenomena, publicly observable phenomena, and behavioral phenomena in its account of the nature of mind. Strawson describes an alternative position, naturalized Cartesianism, that couples the materialist view that mind is entirely natural and wholly physical with respect for the idea that the only distinctively mental phenomena are those of conscious experience.

    A Bradford Book.

    Representation and Mind series

    • Hardcover $80.00
    • Paperback $32.00