ABSTRACT

This is a comprehensive examination of the ideas of the early modern philosophers on the nature of mind. Taking Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz, Locke, Berkeley, and Hume in turn, Janice Thomas presents an authoritative and critical assessment of each of these canonical thinkers' views of the notion of mind. The book examines each philosopher's position on five key topics: the metaphysical character of minds and mental states; the nature and scope of introspection and self-knowledge; the nature of consciousness; the problem of mental causation and the nature of representation and intentionality. The exposition and examination of their positions is informed by present-day debates in the philosophy of mind and the philosophy of psychology so that students get a clear sense of the importance of these philosophers' ideas, many of which continue to define our current notions of the mental.Again and again, philosophers and students alike come back to the great early modern rationalist and empiricist philosophers for instruction and inspiration. Their views on the philosophy of mind are no exception and as Janice Thomas shows they have much to offer contemporary debates. The book is suitable for undergraduate courses in the philosophy of mind and the many new courses in philosophy of psychology.

chapter |11 pages

Introduction

chapter |10 pages

Descartes on self-knowledge

chapter |9 pages

Mental causation

chapter |10 pages

Mental representation

chapter |10 pages

Spinoza and self-knowledge

chapter |7 pages

Spinoza on representation

chapter |7 pages

Leibniz and representation

chapter |8 pages

Locke on consciousness

chapter |6 pages

Locke on mental causation

chapter |12 pages

Locke on representation

chapter |11 pages

Hume and self-knowledge

chapter |8 pages

Hume on mental causation

chapter |9 pages

Hume on representation