A Historical Introduction to the Philosophy of Mind – Second Edition
Readings with Commentary
  • Publication Date: May 6, 2010
  • ISBN: 9781551118529 / 1551118521
  • 704 pages; 7" x 9"
Exam Copy

Availability: Worldwide

A Historical Introduction to the Philosophy of Mind – Second Edition

Readings with Commentary

  • Publication Date: May 6, 2010
  • ISBN: 9781551118529 / 1551118521
  • 704 pages; 7" x 9"

This is an expanded and revised second edition of Peter Morton’s highly acclaimed A Historical Introduction to the Philosophy of Mind, a text that combines primary readings with detailed commentary. The book has two aims: to present the philosophy of mind from a historical perspective so that the theories in the field are seen to emerge in the process of solving problems with earlier theories; and to give students access to original source material together with commentaries that explain technical terms and jargon, outline argumentative structures, and place the texts in their historical context. The second edition adds several new chapters covering recent issues in the field, and revises earlier chapters to improve the readings and update the commentaries.


Comments on this and the First Edition:

“Peter Morton’s text provides well-chosen primary readings from the history of modern Western philosophy, along with a small number of ancient sources. The historical texts illuminate the core contemporary readings that follow, and provide very useful context for ongoing debates in both the Philosophy of Mind and Cognitive Science. Morton’s accompanying remarks about the readings and the wider issues they raise are clear, detailed, and charitable. Students in the Philosophy of Mind will find this an immediately helpful text.” — Tim Kenyon, University of Waterloo

“The format of this book combines the virtues of both text and anthology of primary readings. Morton’s introductions to each section of the book will prove invaluable to the student; he not only gives lucid and nicely organized expositions of the views of the authors but also puts those views into the context of the issues which were current when the authors were writing. In this way the historical continuity and developmental character of the theories discussed is preserved and indeed illuminated.” — George Pappas, Ohio State University

“This is a useful selection of historical material, with illuminating commentary. It fills a real gap in the literature.” — Frances Egan, Rutgers University

Preface to the Second Edition


Part One: Historical Background

  1. Plato: The Soul and the Forms
    • Plato: Selections from The Phaedo

  2. Aristotle: Naturalizing the Soul
    • Aristotle: Selections from On the Soul and Sense and Sensibilia

  3. The Scientific Revolution
    • Galileo Galilei: Selections from The Assayer
    • René Descartes: Selections from The World or Treatise on Light
    • René Descartes: Selections from Principles of Philosophy

  4. Descartes: Knowledge of Mind and Matter
    • René Descartes: Selections from Meditations on First Philosophy

  5. Descartes’ Dualism
    • René Descartes: Selections from Discourse on the Method of rightly conducting one’s reason and
      seeking the truth in the sciences
    • Antoine Arnauld: Objections to Descartes’ Meditations
    • René Descartes: Reply to Antoine Arnauld
    • René Descartes: Selections from Principles of Philosophy
    • John Locke: Selections from An Essay Concerning Human Understanding

  6. Materialism and Idealism
    • Thomas Hobbes: Selections from Leviathan
    • George Berkeley: Selections from A Treatise Concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge

Part Two: Recent Theories of Mind

  1. Behaviourism and Linguistic Philosophy
    • B.F. Skinner: Selections from Science and Human Behavior
    • Noam Chomsky: A Review of B.F. Skinner’s Verbal Behavior
    • Gilbert Ryle: Selections from The Concept of Mind
    • Ludwig Wittgenstein: Selections from Philosophical Investigations

  2. The Mind-Brain Identity Theory
    • U.T. Place: “Is Consciousness a Brain Process?”
    • J.J.C. Smart: “Sensations and Brain Processes”
    • Saul Kripke: Selections from “Identity and Necessity”

  3. Functionalism
    • David M. Armstrong: “The Nature of Mind”
    • Jerry A. Fodor: “The Mind-Body Problem”
    • Ned Block: Selections from “Troubles with Functionalism”

Part Three: Contemporary Issues

  1. Artificial Intelligence
    • Alan Turing: “Computing Machinery and Intelligence”
    • John R. Searle: “Minds, Brains and Programs”
    • Margaret A. Boden: “Escaping from the Chinese Room”

  2. Consciousness
    • Thomas Nagel: “What Is It Like to Be a Bat?”
    • Frank Jackson: “Epiphenomenal Qualia”
    • Daniel C. Dennett: “Quining Qualia”
    • David J. Chalmers: “Facing Up to the Problem of Consciousness”
    • Valerie Gray Hardcastle: “The Why of Consciousness: A Non-Issue for Materialists”

  3. Propositional Attitudes
    • Jerry A. Fodor: “Propositional Attitudes”
    • Paul Churchland: “Eliminative Materialism and the Propositional Attitudes”
    • Daniel C. Dennett: “True Believers: The Intentional Strategy and Why It Works”

  4. Mental Content: Natural Semantics
    • Fred I. Dretske: Précis of Knowledge and the Flow of Information
    • Ruth Millikan: “Biosemantics”

  5. Mental Content: Individuation
    • Jerry A. Fodor: Selections from “Methodological Solipsism Considered as a Research Strategy in
      Cognitive Psychology”
    • Hilary Putnam: Selections from Reason, Truth and History

  6. Mental Causation
    • Donald Davidson: “Mental Events” and a Selection from “Psychology as
    • Jaegwon Kim: Selection from “The Many Problems of Mental Causation”




Peter A. Morton is Associate Professor of Philosophy in the Humanities Department at Mount Royal University, Calgary, Alberta.