In Matter and Consciousness, Paul Churchland presents a concise and contemporary overview of the philosophical issues surrounding the mind and explains the main theories and philosophical positions that have been proposed to solve them. Making the case for the relevance of theoretical and experimental results in neuroscience, cognitive science, and artificial intelligence for the philosophy of mind, Churchland reviews current developments in the cognitive sciences and offers a clear and accessible account of the connections to philosophy of mind.
For this third edition, the text has been updated and revised throughout. The changes range from references to the iPhone’s “Siri” to expanded discussions of the work of such contemporary philosophers as David Chalmers, John Searle, and Thomas Nagel. Churchland describes new research in evolution, genetics, and visual neuroscience, among other areas, arguing that the philosophical significance of these new findings lies in the support they tend to give to the reductive and eliminative versions of materialism.
Matter and Consciousness, written by the most distinguished theorist and commentator in the field, offers an authoritative summary and sourcebook for issues in philosophy of mind. It is suitable for use as an introductory undergraduate text.
“To read this book with attention is not just to find out about philosophy, but to do it. Churchland has written the best introduction available, for students and for general readers.”
—Margaret Boden, Times Higher Education Supplement
“The book is superb as an introductory text. Difficult matters are treated from an introductory perspective gracefully, interestingly, and with remarkably little in the way of distorting simplification. My prediction is that the word about this book will spread, and it will soon be a standard textbook.”
—Ned Block, New York University
About the Author:
Paul M. Churchland is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Philosophy at the University of California, San Diego. His the author of The Engine of Reason, the Seat of the Soul (MIT Press), Neurophilosophy at Work, and several other books.