In "Mental Reality," Galen Strawson argues that much
contemporary philosophy of mind gives undue primacy of place to
publicly observable phenomena, nonmental phenomena, and behavioral
phenomena (understood as publicly observable phenomena) in its
account of the nature of mind. It does so at the expense of the
phenomena of conscious experience. Strawson describes an
alternative position, "naturalized Cartesianism," which couples the
materialist view that mind is entirely natural and wholly physical
with a fully realist account of the nature of conscious experience.
Naturalized Cartesianism is an adductive (as opposed to reductive)
form of materialism. Adductive materialists don't claim that
conscious experience is anything less than we ordinarily conceive
it to be, in being wholly physical. They claim instead that the
physical is something more than we ordinarily conceive it to be,
given that many of the wholly physical goings on in the brain
constitute -- literally are -- conscious experiences as we
ordinarily conceive them.
Since naturalized Cartesianism downgrades the place of reference
to nonmental and publicly observable phenomena in an adequate
account of mental phenomena, Strawson considers in detail the
question of what part such reference still has to play. He argues
that it is a mistake to think that all behavioral phenomena are
publicly observable phenomena.This revised and expanded edition of
"Mental Reality" includes a new appendix, which thoroughly revises
the account of intentionality given in chapter 7.
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