The Subject's Point of View

The Subject's Point of View

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Katalin Farkas comes to the defence of a Cartesian view of the mind. She argues that Descartes's influence is more beneficial, and his conception of the mind more deeply rooted in our understanding of ourselves, than most philosophers allow. She sheds light on a range of current issues, including personhood and the internalism/externalism debate., Descartes's philosophy has had a considerable influence on the modern conception of the mind, but many think that this influence has been largely negative. The main project of The Subject's Point of View is to argue that discarding certain elements of the Cartesian conception would be much more difficult than critics seem to allow, since it is tied to our understanding of basic notions, including the criteria for what makes someone a person, or one of us. The crucial feature of the Cartesian view defended here is not dualism - which is not adopted - but internalism. Internalism is opposed to the widely accepted externalist thesis, which states that some mental features constitutively depend on certain features of our physical and social environment. In contrast, this book defends the minority internalist view, which holds that the mind is autonomous, and though it is obviously affected by the environment, this influence is merely contingent and does not delimit what is thinkable in principle. Defenders of the externalist view often present their theory as the most thoroughgoing criticism of the Cartesian conception of the mind; Katalin Farkas offers a defence of an uncompromising internalist Cartesian conception., 1. Our Cartesian Mind ; 2. Unconscious, conscious, bodily ; 3. Persons and minds ; 4. The Internal and the External ; 5. Indiscriminability ; 6. Externalism and privileged self-knowledge ; 7. Reference and sense ; Bibliography ; Index, [A] stimulating and provocative little book... a thought-provoking read William Fish, Mind Farkas's account is elaborate and sophisticated Uriah Kriegel, Times Literary Supplement, Katalin Farkas is Associate Professor in the Department of Philosophy of the Central European University in Budapest. She earned a joint MA degree in mathematics and philosophy at the Eotvos Lorand University in Budapest, and received her doctorate in philosophy from the Hungarian Academy of Science. After teaching at the University of Liverpool, and then at the Eotvos Lorand University as part of the Philosophy of Language Research Group of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, she joined CEU in 2000. Her primary research is in the philosophy of mind, metaphysics, and Descartes.

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