This Is Philosophy Of Mind: An Introduction
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This is Philosophy of Mind presents students of philosophy with an accessible introduction to the core issues related to the philosophy of mind.

  • Includes issues related to the mind-body problem, artificial intelligence, free will, the nature of consciousness, and more
  • Written to be accessible to philosophy students early in their studies
  • Features supplemental online resources on and a frequently updated companion blog, at


Pete Mandik is Professor of Philosophy at William Paterson University, New Jersey. He is the author of Key Terms in Philosophy of Mind (2010), co-author of Cognitive Science: An Introduction to the Mind and Brain (2006), and co-editor of Philosophy and the Neurosciences: A Reader (2001).


How to Use This Book xv

Acknowledgments xvii

1 Meet Your Mind 1

Aspects of Mind 1

Thought and experience 1

Conscious and unconscious 2

Qualia 3

Sensory perception 3

Emotion 4

Imagery 4

Will and action 5

Self 5

Propositional attitudes 5

Philosophical Problems 6

Mind–body problem 7

Other problems 9

Conclusion 14

Annotated Bibliography 14

2 Substance Dualism 15

Arguments for Substance Dualism 15

Leibniz’s law arguments 16

Criticism of Leibniz’s law arguments: Intensional fallacy 19

Explanatory gap arguments 20

Criticisms of explanatory gap arguments 21

Modal arguments 22

Criticism of the modal arguments: Does conceivability eally entail possibility? 23

Mind–Body Interaction as a Problem for Substance Dualism 24

Princess Elisabeth’s objection 25

The dualistic alternatives to Cartesian interactionism 26

Conclusion 27

Annotated Bibliography 28

3 Property Dualism 29

Introducing Property Dualism: Qualia and the Brain 29

The Inverted Spectrum 30

Attack of the Zombies 32

The Knowledge Argument 34

The Explanatory Gap Argument 37

Does Property Dualism Lead to Epiphenomenalism? 39

How Do You Know You’re Not a Zombie? 41

Conclusion 42

Annotated Bibliography 42

4 Idealism, Solipsism, and Panpsychism 45

Solipsism: Is It Just Me? 46

Idealism: It’s All in the Mind 50

Berkeley’s argument from pain 51

Berkeley’s argument from perceptual relativity: Berkeley’s bucket 51

Berkeley’s “Nothing but an idea can resemble an idea” 52

Berkeley’s master argument 52

Why Berkeley is not a solipsist 53

Arguing against idealism 53

Panpsychism: Mind Is Everywhere 54

The analogy argument 55

The nothing from nothing argument 56

The evolutionary argument 57

Arguing against panpsychism: The combination problem 57

Conclusion 58

Annotated Bibliography 59

5 Behaviorism and Other Minds 61

Behaviorism: Introduction and Overview 61

The History of Behaviorism 63

Ludwig Wittgenstein and the private language argument 64

Gilbert Ryle versus the ghost in the machine 66

Objections to Behaviorism 67

The qualia objection 67

Sellars’s objection 68

The Geach–Chisholm objection 69

The Philosophical Problem of Other Minds 70

The rise and fall of the argument from analogy 71

Denying the asymmetry between self-knowledge and knowledge of other minds 72

Conclusion 73

Annotated Bibliography 74

6 Mind as Brain 77

Introducing Mind–Brain Identity Theory 77

Advantages of Mind–Brain Identity Theory 78

A Very Brief Overview of Neuroscience 79

Major parts and functions of the nervous system 80

Major parts and functions of the brain 80

Neurons, neural activations, and brain states 81

Lesions, imaging, and electrophysiology 81

Localism and holism 81

Learning and synaptic plasticity 82

Computational neuroscience and connectionism 82

Neural correlates of consciousness 83

On pain and c-fibers 83

Some General Remarks about Identity 84

Arguments against Mind–Brain Identity Theory 86

The zombie argument 86

The multiple realizability argument 87

Max Black’s “distinct property” argument 89

Conclusion 90

Annotated Bibliography 91

7 Thinking Machines 93

Can a Machine Think? 93

Alan Turing, Turing Machines, and the Turing Test 94

Alan Turing 95

Turing machines 95

The Turing test 96

Searle’s Chinese Room Argument 97

Responses to the Chinese Room Argument 98

The Silicon Chip Replacement Thought Experiment 99

Symbolicism versus Connectionism 102

Conclusion 105

Annotated Bibliography 106

8 Functionalism 109

The Gist of Functionalism 109

A Brief History of Functionalism 111

Arguments for Functionalism 112

The causal argument 112

The multiple realization argument 114

The Varieties of Functionalism 117

Turing machine functionalism 117

Analytic functionalism versus empirical functionalism 118

Arguments against Functionalism 119

Adapting the zombie argument to be against functionalism 120

Adapting the Chinese room argument to be against functionalism 121

Conclusion 122

Annotated Bibliography 122

9 Mental Causation 123

The Problem of Mental Causation 123

The causal closure of the physical 124

The problem for substance dualists 126

The problem for property dualists 126

Basic Views of Interaction 127

Interactionism 127

Parallelism 128

Epiphenomenalism 129

Reductionism 130

Qualia and Epiphenomenalism 130

Whether qualia-based epiphenomenalism conflicts with phenomenal self-knowledge 131

Dennett’s zimboes 131

Anomalous Monism 132

The Explanatory Exclusion Argument 136

Conclusion 137

Annotated Bibliography 137

10 Eliminative Materialism 139

Introduction and Overview 139

Basic Ingredients of Contemporary Eliminative Materialism 140

Folk psychology as a theory 141

The contrast between reduction and elimination 142

Putting the ingredients together 143

Arguments for Propositional Attitude Eliminative Materialism 143

Folk psychology is a stagnant research program 144

Folk psychology is committed to propositional attitudes having a sentential structure that is unsupported by neuroscientific research 144

Folk psychology makes commitments to features of mental states that lead to an unacceptable epiphenomenalism 145

Arguments against Propositional Attitude Eliminative Materialism 145

Eliminative materialism is self-refuting 146

The “theory” theory is false 146

Folk psychology is indispensable 147

Introspection reveals the existence of propositional attitudes 148

Qualia Eliminative Materialism: “Quining” Qualia 149

Conclusion 152

Annotated Bibliography 153

11 Perception, Mental Imagery, and Emotion 155

Perception 155

Direct realism and the argument from illusion 155

Philosophical theories of perception 158

Mental Imagery 161

How similar are mental images to other mental states? 162

Is mental imagery the basis for mental states such as thoughts? 163

To what degree, if any, is mental imagery genuinely imagistic or picture-like? 163

Emotion 165

What distinguishes emotions from other mental states? 166

What distinguishes different emotions from each other? 167

The difficulties in giving a unifi ed account of the emotions 167

Conclusion 168

Annotated Bibliography 168

12 The Will: Willpower and Freedom 171

The Problem of Free Will and Determinism 171

Sources of Determinism 173

General remarks 173

Physical determinism 174

Theological determinism 175

Logical determinism 175

Ethical determinism 176

Psychological determinism 176

Compatibilism 177

Incompatibilism 178

The origination or causal chain argument 179

The consequence argument 180

What Might Free Will Be, If There Were Any Such Thing? 181

Freedom aside for the moment, what is the will? 181

What might the freedom of the will consist in? 183

Conclusion 185

Annotated Bibliography 185

13 Intentionality and Mental Representation 187

Introducing Intentionality 187

The Inconsistent Triad of Intentionality 188

Defending each individual proposition 189

Spelling out the inconsistency 190

Internalism versus Externalism 190

For externalism: The Twin Earth thought experiment 192

Against externalism: Swampman and the brain in the vat 193

Theories of Content Determination 194

Resemblance theory 194

Interpretational semantics 195

Conceptual role semantics 196

Causal or informational theory 198

Teleological evolutionary theory 199

Conclusion 200

Annotated Bibliography 200

14 Consciousness and Qualia 203

Optimism about Explaining Consciousness 203

Focusing on Several Different Uses of the Word “Conscious” 204

Creature consciousness 204

Transitive consciousness 204

State consciousness 205

Phenomenal consciousness 205

Rosenthal’s Higher Order Thought Theory of Consciousness 206

An objection to the HOT theory: Introspectively implausible 209

Another objection to the HOT theory: Too intellectual 209

First Order Representation Theories of Consciousness 211

The transparency argument for first order representationalism 213

The “Spot” argument for fi rst order representationalism 214

Conclusion 214

Annotated Bibliography 215

15 Is This the End? Personal Identity, the Self, and Life after Death 217

Problems of Personal Identity 217

The Problem of Persistence 219

Approaches to the Problem of Persistence 220

The psychological approach 220

The fission problem for the psychological approach 221

The somatic or bodily approach 222

Temporal parts theory aka perdurantism aka four-dimensionalism 224

The no-self view 225

Life after Death 227

Substance dualism and the afterlife 228

Mind–brain identity theory and the afterlife 228

Functionalism and the afterlife 229

Temporal parts and the afterlife 229

No-self and the afterlife 230

Conclusion 230

Annotated Bibliography 230

Index 233


“Mandik offers readers an encompassing, up-to-date and engagingly written textbook.

…The book along with its companion blog , is a useful, accessible, resource. All the problems are explored that an introductory course in philosophy of mind should explore. And the delivery is always rigorous, concise, clear and stress-free.

Given its emphasis on self-discovery, and given its scope and accessible style, the book can also be enjoyed (and easily digested) outside academia by any casual reader curious about what philosophers of mind are actually up to these days.

…Not only is This is Philosophy of Mind a textbook from which many undergrads will learn a good deal; it is also one that many will genuinely enjoy.” - Minds and Machines, June 2014

“This is the most encompassing and up-to-date introduction to the philosophy of mind available today. Mandik has a gift for making technical debates accessible, and his engaging tour travels from the classic to the cutting edge.”

—Jesse Prinz, The Graduate Center, CUNY

“Is it possible to write a clear, even-handed, comprehensive, concise, and engaging guide to contemporary philosophy of mind—in less than 250 pages? I would not have thought so either. THANK YOU, Pete Mandik.”

—Kathleen Akins, Simon Fraser University