Bertrand Russell The Analysis of Mind

ISBN 13: 9780044405078

The Analysis of Mind

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"A most brilliant essay in psychology."—New Statesman "A delightful experience."—Joseph Conrad Philosopher, mathematician and social critic, Bertrand Russell was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1950. In The Analysis of Mind, one of his most influential and exciting books, Russell presents an intriguing reconciliation of the materialism of psychology with the antimaterialism of physics. This book established a new conception of the mind and provided one of the most original and interesting externalist accounts of knowledge. Drawing upon the writings of psychologists such as William James and John Watson, Russell offers a comprehensive treatment of such considerations as belief, desire, habit, memory, meaning, and causal law. His reasoning formed the foundation for many subsequent theories of mind, as well as a framework for his own later philosophical writings. It remains one of the most important works on the philosophy of the mind.

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"This book has grown out of an attempt to harmonize two different tendencies, one in psychology, the other in physics, with both of which I find myself in sympathy, although at first sight they might seem inconsistent," Bertrand Russell wrote at the beginning of The Analysis of Mind, a collection of lectures delivered in London and Peking. He then unfolds for his readers his ideas on consciousness, instinct and habit, desire and feeling, introspection, perception, sensations and images, memory, words and meaning, belief, and characteristics of mental phenomenon.

Throughout, Russell explores the mystery of the mind, and proposes that there exists a fundamental material of which both mind and matter exist. "The stuff of which the world of our experience is composed is, in my belief, neither mind nor matter, but something more primitive than either," he wrote. "Both mind and matter seem to be composite, and the stuff of which they are compounded lies in a sense between the two, in a sense above them both, like a common ancestor."

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