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Donald Davidson has prepared a new edition of his classic 1980 collection of Essays on Actions and Events, including two additional essays. In this seminal investigation of the nature of human action, Davidson argues for an ontology which includes events along with persons and other objects. Certain events are identified and explained as actions when they are viewed as caused and rationalized by reasons; these same events, when described in physical, biological, or physiological terms, may be explained by appeal to natural laws. The mental and the physical thus constitute irreducibly discrete ways of explaining and understanding events and their causal relations. Among the topics discussed are: freedom to act; weakness of the will; the logical form of talk about actions, intentions, and causality; the logic of practical reasoning; Hume's theory of the indirect passions; and the nature and limits of decision theory. The introduction, cross-references, and appendices emphasize the relations between the essays and explain how Davidson's views have developed.
This collection brings together previously unpublished works by well-known philosophers on the philosophy of action, the metaphysics of causality, and the philosophy of psychology. Nine of the essays directly discuss Donald Davidson's work on these topics, while three others challenge a Davidsonian approach through discussion of independent but related issues. These essays are followed by replies from Davidson, including a previously unpublished essay, "Adverbs of Action."
Tanney challenges not only the cognitivist approach that has dominated philosophy and the special sciences for fifty years, but metaphysical-empirical approaches to the mind in general. Rules, Reason, and Self-Knowledge advocates a return to the world-involving, circumstance-dependent, normative practices where the rational mind has its home.
Matthias Vogel challenges the belief, dominant in contemporary philosophy, that reason is determined solely by our discursive, linguistic abilities as communicative beings. In his view, the medium of language is not the only force of reason. Music, art, and other nonlinguistic forms of communication and understanding are also significant. Introducing an expansive theory of mind that accounts for highly sophisticated, penetrative media, Vogel advances a novel conception of rationality while freeing philosophy from its exclusive attachment to linguistics. Vogel's media of reason treats all kinds of understanding and thought, propositional and nonpropositional, as important to the processes and production of knowledge and thinking. By developing an account of rationality grounded in a new conception of media, he raises the profile of the prelinguistic and nonlinguistic dimensions of rationality and advances the Enlightenment project, buffering it against the postmodern critique that the movement fails to appreciate aesthetic experience. Guided by the work of Jürgen Habermas, Donald Davidson, and a range of media theorists, including Marshall McLuhan, Vogel rebuilds, if he does not remake, the relationship among various forms of media—books, movies, newspapers, the Internet, and television—while offering an original and exciting contribution to media theory.
Philosophy flourished in Australia after the war. There was spectacular growth in both the number of departments and the number of philosophers. On top of this philosophy spread beyond the philosophy departments. Serious studies, and interest in philosophy is now common in faculties as diverse as law, science and education. Neither is this development merely quantitative, the Australian researcher has come of age and contributes widely to international debates. At least one movement originated in Australia. This makes the study of philosophy in Australia timely, evidenced by the number of articles concerned with this area that begin to appear in international journals. In Australia itself there is growing interest in the history of the country's philosophical development. There are discussions in conferences and meetings: the matter is now the subject of courses.
How do minds cause events in the world? How does wanting to write a letter cause a person's hands to move across the page? Actions and Objects examines the literature and philosophy of action during the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, when philosophers, novelists, poets, and scientists were all concerned with the place of the mind in the world. They wondered whether belief, desire, and emotion were part of nature—and thus subject to laws of cause and effect—or in a special place outside the natural order. The book emphasizes writers who tried to make actions compatible with external determination and to blur the boundary between mind and matter. This kind of externalism has often been overlooked in the effort to make psychological depth and interiority arise in the eighteenth century. Kramnick follows a long tradition of examining the close relation between literary and philosophical writing, but he fundamentally revises the terrain, situating literature alongside philosophy as jointly interested in discovering how minds work.
Philosophy of Mind introduces readers to one of the liveliest fields in contemporary philosophy by discussing mind-body problems and the various solutions to them. It provides a detailed yet balanced overview of the entire field that enables readers to jump immediately into current debates. Treats a wide range of mind-body theories and arguments in a fair and balanced way Shows how developments in neuroscience, biology, psychology, and cognitive science have impacted mind-body debates Premise-by-premise arguments for and against each position enable readers to grasp the structure of each argument quickly and easily Diagrams and illustrations help readers absorb the more complex ideas Bibliographic essays at the end of each chapter bring readers up to date on the latest literature Written in a clear, easy to read style that is free of technical jargon, and highly accessible to a broad readership The only book to explain systematically how a hylomorphic theory such as Aristotle’s can contribute to current mind-body debates and vie with current mind-body theories Online chapters on free will and the philosophy of persons make the book a flexible teaching tool for general and introductory philosophy courses - available at www.wiley.com/go/jaworski

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