In this highly accessible book, a distinguished philosopher says
current focus on the brain conceals the real powers of the mind.
Edward Pols revisits one of the basic topics of philosophy: what is
the distinction between mind and body and what is the relation
between them? He disagrees fundamentally with the many contemporary
philosophers who concentrate on the findings of neurophysiology and
cognitive science and so look only to the brain for the causes and
explanation of mind. Pols concedes the importance of such
scientific studies but maintains that they focus on the
infrastructure of mind and ignore the momentous difference between
the infrastructure and mind itself.
Pols calls upon the reader to attend to mind itself as a
concrete and experientially available reality. This kind of
attention, he argues persuasively, reveals mind to be at once
causally dependent on the brain and causally effective on the
physical processes of the brain and the world. Pols also examines
the hierarchical view of mind and causality first proposed by Plato
and Aristotle, the supersession of that view by the received
scientific doctrine of causality, and the mistaken denial of the
power of the mind to know an independent reality -- a denial that
resulted from the philosophical doctrines about knowing developed
in the era that began with Descartes and ended with Kant.
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