Aspects of Psychologism is a penetrating look into fundamental philosophical questions of consciousness, perception, and the experience we have of our mental lives. Psychologism, in Tim Crane's formulation, presents the mind as a single subject-matter to be investigated not only empirically and conceptually but also phenomenologically: through the systematic examination of consciousness and thought from the subject's point of view.
How should we think about the mind? Analytical philosophy tends to address this question by examining the language we use to talk about our minds, and thus translates our knowledge of mind and consciousness into knowledge of the concepts which this language embodies. Psychologism rejects this approach. The philosophy of mind, Crane believes, has become too narrow in its purely conceptual focus on the logical and linguistic formulas that structure thought. We cannot assume that the categories needed to understand the mind correspond absolutely with such semantic categories. A central claim of Crane's psychologism is that intentionality--the "aboutness" or "directedness" of the mind--is essential to all mental phenomena. In addition, Crane responds to proponents of materialist doctrines about consciousness and defends the claim that perception can represent the world in a non-conceptual, non-propositional way.
Philosophers must take more seriously the findings of psychology and phenomenology, Crane contends. An investigation of mental phenomena from this broader viewpoint opens up philosophy to a more realistic and plausible account of the mind's nature.
Tim Crane is an original and creative voice in contemporary philosophy of mind and perception. These essays make a major contribution toward a more phenomenally-oriented philosophy of perception that also captures the idea that perception is world-presenting and not a matter of the mere reception of blank subjective signs.
This volume is a joy to read and provides a refreshing outlook on the topics that it covers. Crane masterfully sets up the dialectic context before introducing his own views. The big picture is never lost, and deep interconnections among apparently disparate theses are exposed. As a result, in addition to learning about Crane’s views, these essays provide the reader with a deeper and broader understanding of some of the important lines of thought and controversies in recent philosophy of mind. I have learned much from this book and highly recommend it to anyone with an interest in contemporary philosophy of mind and its recent history.
- 384 pages
- 1-5/16 x 6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches
- Harvard University Press
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