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The Ontology of Mind : Events, Processes, and States - Helen Steward

The Ontology of Mind

Events, Processes, and States

Hardcover Published: 1st May 1997
ISBN: 9780198240983
Number Of Pages: 284

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Helen Steward puts forward a radical critique of the foundations of contemporary philosophy of mind, arguing that it relies too heavily on insecure assumptions about the nature of some sorts of mental entities it postulates -- the nature of events, processes, and states. She offers a fresh investigation of these three categories, clarifying the distinction between them, and argues specifically that the assumption that states can be treated as particular, event-like entities has been a huge and serious mistake. Steward argues that the category of 'token state' should be rejected, and develops an alternative way of understanding those varieties of causal explanation which have sometimes been thought to require an ontology of token states for their education. She contends that many current theories of mind are rendered unintelligible once it is seen how these explanations really work. A number of prominent features of contemporary philosophy of mind -- token identity theories, the functionist's conception of token role, a common form of argument for eliminative materialism, and the structure of the debate about the efficacy of mental content-- are impugned by her arguments. Steward concludes that the modern mind-body problem needs to be substantially rethought.

Industry Reviews

`Throughout, the book is rich in stimulating ideas and detailed, often quite intricate arguments.' Mind, vol. 110, no. 440 `This ambitious and thoughtful book targets widely held views in contemporary philosophy of mind about the ontological underpinnings of our ordinary, folk-psychological attributions fo mental states. Philosophers of mind would profit from responding to the challenge it presents. But the book's audience extends well beyond that field.' Mind, vol. 110, no. 440 `her book is a notable contribution to current debates, and, more broadly, to general metaphysics. It is full of thought-provoking ideas and, though not easy to read by any means, will amply reward anyone willing to give it a close study.' Jaegwon Kim, Times Literary Supplement

Introductionp. 1
Events and Processesp. 17
Events, Particularity, and Propertiesp. 19
Kim: Exemplifications of Properties at Timesp. 21
Property Exemplifications and Theories of Mindp. 28
Particularity and the Secret Life Requirementp. 35
Bennett: Events as Tropesp. 41
Bennett's Argument against Anomalous Monismp. 44
Events as Changesp. 56
Happeningsp. 57
Events as Changes in Objectsp. 58
Is there a Motivation for the RCO?p. 61
Composite Events and the Composition Relationp. 65
Are there Changeless Events?p. 69
States and Changep. 72
The Temporal Strategy: Time and Aspectp. 75
Vendler and Kennyp. 78
Types of Verb versus Types of Predicationp. 82
Aspectp. 84
Nominalization Transcriptions: Events and Processesp. 88
Non-paradigmatic Eventsp. 92
Event and Process as Ontological Categoriesp. 94
Temporal Shapep. 97
States, Causation, and Causal Explanationp. 103
States and the Type-Token Distinctionp. 105
States and Propertiesp. 107
Nominalization Transcriptions: Statesp. 110
The 'State of ...' Locutionp. 115
The Type-Token Distinctionp. 120
Token States in Philosophy of Mindp. 127
Particulars, Facts, and Causal Explanationsp. 135
Forms of Causal Explanationp. 139
Singular Causal Claimsp. 141
Sentential Causal Explanationsp. 146
The Existential Generalization Accountp. 153
Causation and Causal Explanationp. 163
Efficacy, Causing, and Relevancep. 168
Child on Causation and Causal Explanationp. 169
Program and Process Explanationsp. 186
Sentential Explanations as Program Explanationsp. 192
Why there are no Causally Efficacious Propertiesp. 197
States and Causality in Philosophy of Mindp. 203
The Network Model of Causation in Philosophy of Mindp. 205
The Network Model of Causationp. 206
What's Wrong with the Network Model of Causation?p. 213
The Network Model in Philosophy of Mindp. 221
Causal Relevance and Isomorphismp. 225
Token Identity Theoriesp. 232
Understanding Identity Statementsp. 235
Token State Identities and the Network Model of Causationp. 242
Eliminativism and the Problem of Epiphenomenalismp. 247
Two Characterizations of Eliminativismp. 248
An Argument for Eliminativismp. 250
The Problem of Epiphenomenalismp. 254
The Solution to the Problem of Epiphenomenalismp. 257
Concluding Remarksp. 263
Referencesp. 265
Indexp. 271
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780198240983
ISBN-10: 0198240988
Series: Oxford Philosophical Monographs
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 284
Published: 1st May 1997
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.4 x 14.6  x 2.1
Weight (kg): 0.48