The Oxford Companion to Philosophy: Edition 2

OUP Oxford
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Oxford University Press presents a major new edition of the definitive philosophical reference work for readers at all levels. For ten years the original volume has served as a stimulating introduction for general readers and as an indispensable guide for students; its breadth and depth of coverage have ensured that it is also read with pleasure and interest by those working at a higher level in philosophy and related disciplines. A distinguished international assembly of 249 philosophers contributed almost 2,000 entries, and many of these have now been considerably revised and updated; to these are added over 300 brand-new pieces on a fascinating range of current topics. This new edition offers enlightening and enjoyable discussions of all aspects of philosophy, and of the lives and work of the great philosophers from antiquity to the present day.
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About the author

Ted Honderich is Emeritus Grote Professor of the Philosophy of Mind and Logic at University College London. He was born in Canada and educated in Toronto and London. His major work is A Theory of Determinism: The Mind, Neuroscience, and Life-Hopes, published by the Clarendon Press in 1988 and subsequently issued in two paperback volumes. He addresses the same subject for a more general readership in How Free are You? (1993). He is also known for his writings on political philosophy, and for the widely successful philosophy readers which he has edited.
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Additional Information

Publisher
OUP Oxford
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Published on
Mar 10, 2005
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Pages
1088
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ISBN
9780191037474
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Language
English
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Genres
Philosophy / General
Philosophy / Reference
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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What is it for you to be conscious? There is no agreement whatever in philosophy or science: it has remained a hard problem, a mystery. Is this partly or mainly owed to the existing theories not even having the same subject, not answering the same question? In Actual Consciousness, Ted Honderich sets out to supersede dualisms, objective physicalisms, abstract functionalism, externalisms, and other positions in the debate. He argues that the theory of Actualism, right or wrong, is unprecedented, in nine ways. (1) It begins from gathered data and proceeds to an adequate initial clarification of consciousness in the primary ordinary sense. This consciousness is summed up as something's being actual. (2) Like basic science, Actualism proceeds from this metaphorical or figurative beginning to what is wholly literal and explicit—constructed answers to the questions of what is actual and what it is for it to be actual. (3) In so doing, the theory respects the differences of consciousness within perception, consciousness that is thinking in a generic sense, and consciousness that is generic wanting. (4) What is actual with your perceptual consciousness is a subjective physical world out there, very likely a room, differently real from the objective physical world, that other division of the physical world. (5) What it is for the myriad subjective physical worlds to be actual is for them to be subjectively physical, which is exhaustively characterized. (6) What is actual with cognitive and affective consciousness is affirmed or valued representations. The representations being actual, which is essential to their nature, is their being differently subjectively physical from the subjective physical worlds. (7) Actualism, naturally enough when you think of it, but unlike any other existing general theory of consciousness, is thus externalist with perceptual consciousness but internalist with respect to cognitive and affective consciousness. (8) It satisfies rigorous criteria got from examination of the failures of the existing theories. In particular, it explains the role of subjectivity in thinking about consciousness, including a special subjectivity that is individuality. (9) Philosophers and scientists have regularly said that thinking about consciousness requires just giving up the old stuff and starting again. Actualism does this. Science is served by this main line philosophy, which is concentration on the logic of ordinary intelligence—clarity, consistency and validity, completeness, generality.
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