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Mind as Metaphor A Defence of Mental Fictionalism


Mind as Metaphor A Defence of Mental Fictionalism

  • ISBN 13:


  • ISBN 10:


  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 07/27/2023
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press

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We often think of the mind as an inner world. Once, this inner world might have been a spirit or soul - a "ghost in the machine", in Gilbert Ryle's memorable phrase. Nowadays, we are told it will be found in the brain. Adam Toon argues that this is a mistake. In fact, our concept of mind is fundamentally metaphorical: we project the 'outer world' of human culture onto the 'inner world' of the mind. This is an enormously powerful way of making sense of people and their behaviour. But we must not forget that this inner world is only a useful fiction.

Mind as Metaphor develops this idea to offer a radical new approach to the mind, known as mental fictionalism. Toon shows that mental fictionalism can make sense of our ordinary concept of mind (or folk psychology), while avoiding the difficulties faced by alternative approaches, such as behaviourism or instrumentalism. In doing so, Mind as Metaphor sheds new light on a range of issues, from the mind's capacity to represent the world (or intentionality) to the way in which new tools and practices expand the limits of inquiry.

Written in a concise, engaging, and accessible style, Mind as Metaphor is essential reading for anyone interested in the nature of the mind and its relationship to human culture

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