Minds, Brains and Science: The 1984 Reith Lectures (Penguin philosophy)

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9780140156881: Minds, Brains and Science: The 1984 Reith Lectures (Penguin philosophy)

What is the relation between mind and brain, can computers think and has the problem of the freedom of the will been resolved? In addressing these questions, this book discusses the place of mind in science.

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Review:

John Searle's six Reith lectures--brief talks given over the BBC--are popular philosophy in the best sense: clear and lively without loss of rigor, and on problems of wide appeal. Searle proposes answers to three related questions: the relation between mind and brain; whether computers can think (they cannot); and why, compared with the natural sciences, the social sciences have taught us so little. On the second two issues he is brilliant...Searle makes a resounding contribution to current debates.

brilliant...Searle makes a resounding contribution to current debates.

Chomsky, the champion of modern linguistics; Jacques Derrida, the heavyweight of post structuralism; and endeavored to deal a knock-out blow to the pretensions of artificial intelligentsia.

Wittgenstein once remarked that a philosopher who doesn't engage in public debate is like a boxer who never enters the ring. By this standard, John Searle is a true prizefighter. In recent years he has taken on Noam Chomsky, the champion of modern linguistics; Jacques Derrida, the heavyweight of post structuralism; and endeavored to deal a knock-out blow to the pretensions of artificial intelligentsia.--Trevor Pateman "Times Higher Education Supplement "

In print Professor Searle's lectures retain the same punchy and engaging style as they had on the air.--David Papineau "Times Literary Supplement "

Searle's six brief chapters are models of straightforward, vigorous, non-technical argument...All of this heady and provocative stuff makes Searle's book an exciting read.--Stephen P. Stich "Philosophical Review "

Searle's book is an admirably clear and vigorous exposition of his views on a connected set of philosophical issues of importance and timeliness.--John Perry

This book is aggressive, zealous, and acute. Searle's manner is that of a plain man in possession of plain truths that no one can reject if they are plainly enough stated. I cannot think of another book quite like it.--Arthur Danto

About the Author:

John R. Searle is Willis S. and Marion Slusser Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at the University of California, Berkeley.

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