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Look Inside Explaining Attitudes

Explaining Attitudes
A Practical Approach to the Mind

$112.00 (P)

Part of Cambridge Studies in Philosophy

  • Date Published: January 1995
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521420532

$ 112.00 (P)

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About the Authors
  • Explaining Attitudes offers a timely and important challenge to the dominant conception of belief found in the work of such philosophers as Dretske and Fodor. According to this dominant view, beliefs, if they exist at all, are constituted by states of the brain. Rudder Baker rejects this view and replaces it with a quite different approach: practical realism. Seen from the perspective of practical realism, any argument that tries to interpret beliefs as either brain states or immaterial souls is a false dichotomy. Practical realism takes beliefs to be states of whole persons, rather like states of health. What a person believes is determined by what a person would do, say, and think in various circumstances. Thus beliefs and other attitudes are interwoven into an integrated, commonsensical conception of reality.

    • This book challenges the dominant physicalism of contemporary philosophy of mind and replaces it with integrated, common-sense view that has much greater explanatory power
    • Broad interdisciplinary appeal across philosophy, psychology and cognitive science
    • Lynne Rudder Baker is a much published philosopher of mind. Her book, Saving Belief was published by Princeton in 1987
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "The discussions are always interesting, and at times profound and foundational. It provides a contrasting voice in an otherwise too one-sided discussion; everyone now working in the philosophy of mind should read it." Anne Jasp Jacobson, Canadian Philosophical Review

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    Product details

    • Date Published: January 1995
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521420532
    • length: 262 pages
    • dimensions: 224 x 143 x 21 mm
    • weight: 0.421kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. The Standard View and its Problems:
    1. Two conceptions of the attitudes
    2. Content and causation
    3. The myth of folk psychology
    Part II. Explanation in Theory and Practice:
    4. On standards of explanatory adequacy
    5. How beliefs explain
    Part III. Practical Realism and its Prospects:
    6. Belief without reification
    7. Mind and metaphysics
    8. Practical realism writ large.

  • Author

    Lynne Rudder Baker, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
    Lynne Rudder Baker is Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She is the author of Explaining Attitudes (Cambridge University Press, 1995), Persons and Bodies (Cambridge University Press, 2000), The Metaphysics of Everyday Life (Cambridge University Press, 2007), and Saving Belief (1987).

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