New PDF release: A Materialist Theory of the Mind

By D.M. Armstrong

ISBN-10: 0415100313

ISBN-13: 9780415100311

Breaking new flooring within the debate concerning the relation of brain and physique, David Armstrong's vintage textual content - first released in 1968 - continues to be the main compelling and complete assertion of the view that the brain is fabric or physical.
In the preface to this re-creation, the writer displays at the book's impression and considers it within the mild of next advancements. He additionally presents a bibliography of all of the key writings to have seemed within the materialist debate.

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Extra info for A Materialist Theory of the Mind

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I want to argue that there are considerations, both philosophical and psychological, that show its advantages over the others. I start with a brief summary of the conception of strength of will that makes these issues pressing. Akrasia, Resolutions, and Weakness of Will Imagine someone who is convinced that all the arguments point the same way: he should give up meat. Yet suppose he does not. He is, therefore, akratic. But is he weak-willed? That, I contend, depends on other factors. Has he repeatedly vowed to give up, only to find himself succumbing time and again in the face of rare steaks and slow-cooked offal?

Here there is a striking contrast with, say, Wallace's account (Wallace 1994) of the capacity for reflective self-control, and Fischer and Ravizza's account (Fischer and Ravizza 1998) of reasons responsiveness. For, under the influence of Harry Frankfurt (1969), these theorists have denied that the relevant notion of 'could' can be elucidated in such terms (see Watson 2001 for an expression of scepticism about this). The novelty also lies in part in the fact that I explicitly connect the difficulty involved in giving such an elucidation of the notion of 'could' with the issue in metaphysics about finkish dispositions (Martin 1994; Lewis 1997).

We begin by abstracting away from all those properties that could have an effect on what the weak woman and the compulsive woman desire except the relevant properties of their brains. We then note that the weak woman would, whereas the compulsive woman would not, have a whole host of counterfactuals true of her. She would desire to refrain from similar drinks, and the like—drinks of ever so slightly different kinds, in ever so slightly different circumstances, and so on—in those nearby possible worlds in which she believes that she would want herself so to act if she had a maximallyJ informed and coherent and unified desire set.

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A Materialist Theory of the Mind by D.M. Armstrong


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