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Consciousness and the Mind-Body Problem

A Reader

Edited by Torin Alter and Robert J. Howell

Publication Date - September 2011

ISBN: 9780199739240

400 pages
7-1/2 x 9-1/4 inches

In Stock

A cutting-edge anthology of essential readings on consciousness and the mind-body problem, at an affordable price


Over the past three decades, the challenge that conscious experience poses to physicalism--the widely held view that the universe is a completely physical system--has provoked a growing debate in philosophy of mind studies and given rise to a great deal of literature on the subject.

Ideal for courses in consciousness and the philosophy of mind, Consciousness and the Mind-Body Problem: A Reader presents thirty-six classic and contemporary readings, organized into five sections that cover the major issues in this debate: the challenge for physicalism, physicalist responses, alternative responses, the significance of ignorance, and mental causation. Edited by Torin Alter and Robert J. Howell, the volume features work from such leading figures as Karen Bennett, Ned Block, David J. Chalmers, Frank Jackson, Colin McGinn, David Papineau, and many others. It is enhanced by a thorough general introduction by the editors, which explains "the hard problem of consciousness"--the question of how any physical phenomenon could give rise to conscious experience. The introduction also provides historical and conceptual background and explains how the consciousness/mind-body problem is related to such theories as the identity theory, dualism, and functionalism. In addition, accessible introductions outline the themes and readings contained in each section.

About the Author(s)

Torin Alter is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Alabama.

Robert J. Howell is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Southern Methodist University.


"An extremely well-conceived collection. One of the book's greatest strengths is the editors' choice to organize it around one of the most important problems in contemporary theorizing about consciousness--the hard problem of consciousness--and the central treatments of that problem. This book has the potential to be used in a very wide range of courses. It will have a wide readership and be a great resource for those of us who work and teach in the philosophy of mind."--Kevin Sharpe, Saint Cloud State University

Table of Contents

    1. Saul A. Kripke, Naming and Necessity (excerpt)
    2. Thomas Nagel, What Is It Like to Be a Bat?
    3. Frank Jackson, Epiphenomenal Qualia
    4. Frank Jackson, Postscript
    5. Brie Gertler, In Defense of Mind-Body Dualism
    6. David J. Chalmers, Consciousness and Its Place in Nature (revised version)
    A. A priori Physicalism
    7. Terence Horgan, Jackson on Physical Information and Qualia
    8. David J. Chalmers, Phenomenal Concepts and the Knowledge Argument (excerpt)
    9. David K. Lewis, Postscript to "Mad Pain and Martian Pain"
    10. William G. Lycan, Ten Arguments Against Nemirow and Lewis
    11. Daniel C. Dennett, What RoboMary Knows
    12. Torin Alter, Phenomenal Knowledge without Experience
    B. A posteriori Physicalism
    13. Brian Loar, Phenomenal States (revised version, excerpt)
    14. David Papineau, Phenomenal and Perceptual Concepts
    15. David J. Chalmers, Phenomenal Concepts and the Explanatory Gap (excerpt)
    16. Christopher S. Hill and Brian P. McLaughlin, There Are Fewer Things in Reality Than Are Dreamt of in Chalmers' Philosophy
    17. Robert J. Howell, The Ontology of Subjective Physicalism
    C. Representationalism
    18. Michael Tye, Précis of Ten Problems of Consciousness
    19. Ned Block, Is Experience Just Representing?
    20. Michael Tye, Response to Discussants (excerpt)
    21. Amy Kind, What's So Transparent about Transparency?
    22. Frank Jackson, Mind and Illusion
    23. Torin Alter, Does Representationalism Undermine the Knowledge Argument?
    24. Grover Maxwell, Rigid Designators and Mind-Brain Identity (excerpt)
    25. Galen Strawson, Realistic Monism
    26. Philip Goff, Experiences Don't Sum
    27. Colin McGinn, Can We Solve The Mind-Body Problem?
    28. Daniel Stoljar, The Mysterian Version of The Epistemic View (excerpt)
    29. Daniel Stoljar, Précis of Ignorance and Imagination
    30. Derk Pereboom, The Knowledge Argument and Introspective Inaccuracy
    31. Barbara Montero, Post-Physicalism
    32. Robert J. Howell, Physicalism, Old School
    33. David Papineau, The Case for Materialism (excerpt)
    34. Jaegwon Kim, The Rejection of Immaterial Minds
    35. David J. Chalmers, The Paradox of Phenomenal Judgment (excerpt)
    36. Karen Bennett, Exclusion Again (excerpt)