This stimulating book critically examines a wide range of physicalistic conceptions of mind in the works of Jerry A. Fodor, Stephen P. Stich, Paul M. Churchland, Daniel C. Dennett, and others. Part I argues that intentional concepts cannot be reduced to nonintentional (and nonsemantic) concepts; Part II argues that intentional concepts are nevertheless indispensable to our cognitive enterprises and thus need no foundation in physicalism. As a sustained challenge to the prevailing interpretation of cognitive science, this timely book fills a large gap in the philosophical literature. It is sure to spark controversy, yet its clarity makes it attractive as a text in upper-level undergraduate and graduate courses in philosophy of mind and cognitive science. Saving Belief should be read by philosophers, psychologists, and others interested in the philosophy of language, philosophy of mind, and cognitive science.
Originally published in 1988.
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