Minds, Brains and Science: The 1984 Reith Lectures (Pelican)


The overriding theme of the series concerns the relationship of human beings to the rest of the universe. Specifically, it concerns the question of how we reconcile a certain traditional mentalistic conception that we have of ourselves with an apparently inconsistent conception of the universe as a purely physical system, or a set of interacting physical systems. Around this theme, each chapter is addressed to a specific question: what is the relation of the mind to the brain? Can digital computers have minds solely in virtue of having the right programs with the right inputs and outputs? How plausible is the model of the mind as a computer program? What is the nature of the structure of human action? What is the status of the social sciences as sciences? How, if at all, can we reconcile our conviction of our own free will with our • conception of the universe as a physical system or a set of interacting physical systems?

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