From Mind to Body and Back. Janet Levin, The Metaphysics of Mind, Cambridge Elements in Philosophy of Mind, Cambridge University Press, New York 2022, pp. 72. [Book Review]

Philosophical Aspects of Origin 19 (2):255-275 (2022)
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Abstract

In a work recently published as part of the Cambridge Elements series, Janet Levin brings together the most important contemporary theories that attempt to answer the question of the mental. In her book, The Metaphysics of Mind (2022), she acknowledges that the metaphysical questions surrounding the mind should be distinguished from the epistemological and moral ones. While taking into consideration the implications of the epistemological and moral questions for the metaphysics of mind, Levin focuses primarily on the metaphysical questions. To accomplish the task at hand, she analyzes Dualism, Type-Identity Theory, Role Functionalism, Russellian Monism, and Eliminativism (or Illusionism). As she makes clear at the outset of her book, the aim of her text is not to argue for or against a certain metaphysical theory of mind, but rather to assess the merits and demerits of each theory objectively. A good metaphysics of mind should account for certain elements that are taken to be key to the controversy over the mental. These elements range from the qualitative character of sensations and perceptual experiences, the outer-directedness of intentional states (beliefs, desires, etc.) to — basically— the space the mind occupies in nature as a whole. In this piece, I review each theory of mind separately, as approached by Levin. Then I conclude my review with some critical remarks about the book.

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Hicham Jakha
John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin

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