Bede Rundle challenges the quasi-mechanical view of human action that is dominant in contemporary philosophy of mind. A materialist view of the mind and a causal theory of action fit together conveniently: the notion of action as caused by thoughts and desires allows philosophers to accommodate explanations of action within a framework that is congenial to scientific understanding, and the conception of mind as physical enables them to make sense of causal
transactions between the two domains. Mind in Action offers an alternative approach. Compelling reasons are given for demoting causation and for shifting the emphasis to the role played by behaviour in
accounts of thought, belief, desire, intention, freedom, and other key concepts. Rundle's approach sheds fresh light not only on human behaviour but also on animal mentality, and has important implications for the feasibility of current programmes in cognitive science.
`compelling and sophisticated book ... the general approach in this book owes a great deal to Wittgenstein, relying heavily as it does on an analysis of how psychological terms function in everyday language, and it is refreshing to see this approach so scrupulously applied to contemporary problems ... this book is a stimulating read and I would happily commend it to anyone working in these, and related, fields of research ... Whether or not you are
ultimately convinced by the arguments themselves, you will be impressed by the depth and clarity of the exposition.'
William Fish, MIND 109,433 January 2000
`The book is full of careful, detailed, sometimes terse and difficult, but never dogmatic discussions of the central concepts concerned with thought and action, including animal mentality and behaviour ... more than just revisiting old, familiar places; it is relocating some old truths ... This is a welcome book.'
Graeme Marshall, Australasian Journal of Philosophy Vol 77 no 3 September 1999
1: Mental Antecedents of Action
2: Mind and Brain
3: Mind, Animals, and Behaviour
4: Reasoning and Language.
5: Intention and Desire
7: Reasoning, Deciding, and Intending
8: Reasons and Consciousness
Number Of Pages: 314
Published: 1st November 1997
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.4 x 14.5
Weight (kg): 0.52