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  • Print publication year: 1998
  • Online publication date: May 2010

Introduction

Summary

The philosophy of mind is one of the most exciting and innovative areas in philosophy at the current time. Necessarily, much of the work in the area is highly specialized, but as a consequence it is not widely available or accessible. By bringing together some of the leading figures in the field, we hope in this volume to fill what is often perceived both inside and outside philosophy to be a gap. Contributors have attempted in their papers to give an idea of their current concerns, to indicate the directions in which their work is taking them, and to suggest how it relates to other issues both in the philosophy of mind and in philosophy generally.

After a general review of work on the mind-body problem over the last 50 years, the collection focuses on various aspects of neural activity and embodiment, on mental simulation, on the first person, on consciousness (including a new approach to the topic), on intentionality, on perception, on the mind as generating norms, on its connection to the world outside, on free will and on action.

The papers in the volume are based on the lectures given in the Royal Institute of Philosophy's annual lecture series 1996–7. Thanks are due to all the contributors, and especially to Christopher Peacocke and Ted Honderich for their help in planning the series. I would also like to thank James Garvey for preparing the index, and for help with editing the volume.