Mind and the World of Nature

Steven Horst

Wesleyan University

This is a book manuscript in progress.

Chapters are shared here in a draft form for purposes of professional feedback and discussion. All texts here are under the copyright of the author, Steven Horst. Please do not cite without permission from the author.

Questions or comments should be sent to the author, Steven Horst (mailto:shorst@wesleyan.edu)

Brief Overview

This book is a critique of naturalism in philosophy of mind. The first section seeks, by way of historical exposition, to differentiate and explain several different breeds of naturalism (reductive, nomological, and Darwinian) and why they have the appeal that they do. The second section explores the claims that certain features of the mental -- consciousness, qualia, meaning, and the first-person perspective -- cannot be EXPLAINED in naturalistic terms. It states the problems as posed by contemporary naturalist and antinaturalist philosophers and then tries to examine them by a series of case studies of what is really explained in various parts of cognitive science. The overall conclusion is that there is, in fact, a robust EXPLANATORY GAP. The third section then turns to the question of whether this explanatory gap implies a METAPHYSICAL GAP as well. I argue that there is a straightforward prima facie argument that it does, and then consider various objections to this prima facie argument.


Chapters are available in .pdf (Acrobat) format, and should be viewable through Acrobat Reader regardless of platform.

Introduction Introduction
Section I:

An Archaeology of Naturalism

Introduction to Section I
A Tale of Two Sciences
Philosophical Variations: Descartes and Hobbes
A Whirlwind Tour of Four Centuries in Philosophy of Mind
From Resolution and Composition to the Hierarchic Picture of the World
Section II:


Introduction to Section II
From Newton to Neutrality
Mary and the Bat
The Naturalist's Response
Conceptually Adequate Explanation
Case Study: Psychophysics
Case Study: Color Vision
Case Study: Intentionality and Computation
Case Study: Crick's Astonishing Hypothesis and the Binding Problem