Book Review of “Mind: a Brief Introduction” by John R. Seale, Oxford (2004)

1201 Words5 Pages
Book Review of “Mind: A Brief Introduction” by John R. Seale, Oxford (2004) “All of the most famous and influential theories are false.” From the very first page, this bold and no doubt provocative statement of intent by Searle, makes no apologies for its effect. A point, it appears, needs to be proved and in “Mind: A Brief Introduction” John Searle is out to do just that and “try to rescue the truth from the overwhelming urge to falsehood”. Referring to the ever contentious issue surrounding the philosophy of mind, Searle directs the majority of his effort towards the “mind-body problem”, the relationship between the physical and biological experiences and the mental experiences in our so called “mind”. His main aims are to introduce readers to the main theories of what the mind is, why they’re all simply wrong and to present his view on the matter. Previous and present literature regarding the mind is vast and Searle acknowledges this, so the task of effectively bringing every theory, which he regards as being based on “false assumptions”, into disrepute, makes this particular book stand out. Searle is no stranger to this having previously published works on the philosophy of mind, of which he cites throughout the book. He begins his argument focusing on Descartes’ theory of dualism (that the mind and body are separate entities but cannot function without one another) titled as a “disaster” by Searle. His views on the matter are already well known after publishing “Why I am not a Property Dualist” (2002) but here he furthers his intent. It is in the opening exchanges here that one begins to grasp Searle’s prose like writing technique which, as a first year psychology student, I found light and fairly enjoyable to read. He uses personal anecdotes and simple analogies to home in on his arguments, in which he described dualism as “preposterous” which maximises

More about Book Review of “Mind: a Brief Introduction” by John R. Seale, Oxford (2004)

Open Document