Cover image for Mind in a physical world : an essay on the mind-body problem and mental causation
Mind in a physical world : an essay on the mind-body problem and mental causation
Kim, Jaegwon.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Cambridge, Mass. : MIT Press, [1998]

Physical Description:
viii, 146 pages ; 21 cm.
General Note:
"A Bradford book."

Book consists of four revised lectures given by the author as the Townsend Lectures at the University of California, Berkeley, in Mar. 1996.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
BD418.3 .K53 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



"This is a wonderful book: ingenious, penetrating, illuminating." -- Ned Block, New York University "This elegant work is filled with philosophical wisdom and insight. . . . It articulates beautifully what the mind-body problem is for us today." -- Brian P. McLaughlin, Rutgers University This book, based on Jaegwon Kim's 1996 Townsend Lectures, presents the philosopher's current views on a variety of issues in the metaphysics of the mind--in particular, the mind-body problem, mental causation, and reductionism. Kim construes the mind-body problem as that of finding a place for the mind in a world that is fundamentally physical. Among other points, he redefines the roles of supervenience and emergence in the discussion of the mind-body problem. Arguing that various contemporary accounts of mental causation are inadequate, he offers his own partially reductionist solution on the basis of a novel model of reduction. Retaining the informal tone of the lecture format, the book is clear yet sophisticated.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

There are now quite a few high-powered philosophers contributing to a host of related debates in the philosophy of mind. None of them eclipses Kim (Brown Univ.) for originality, influence, clarity, or sheer philosophical penetration. This work brings together some central themes in Kim's works over the last few decades, focusing especially on problems of mental causation and reductionism, and does so in a crisp and eminently readable way. In terms of its philosophical integrity and insight, it is reminiscent of C.D. Broad's masterful The Mind and Its Place in Nature (1925), which Kim's compact book equals and in many ways excels. This book should be purchased by every academic library; and because of its uncommon accessibility, it will make a useful addition to the collections of large public libraries as well. All readership levels. C. J. Shields University of Colorado at Boulder

Table of Contents

The Mind-Body Problem: Where We Now Are
Supervenience, Realization, and Emergence
Supervenience Is Not a Mind-Body Theory
The Layered Model and Mereological Supervenience
Physical Realizationism
Physical Realizationism Explains Mind-Body Supervenience
The Many Problems of Mental Causation
Three Problems of Mental Causation
The Problem of Anomalous Mental Properties
The Problem of Extrinsic Mental Properties
The Problem of Causal Exclusion
The Supervenience Argument, or Descartes's Revenge
Searle, Fodor, and the Supervenience Argument
Block's Worries about Second-Order Properties
Mental Causation: The Backlash and Free Lunches
Unavoidability of Metaphysics: The Exclusion Problem
Do Counterfactuals Help?
"Program Explanation" and Supervenient Causation
Does the Problem of Mental Causation Generalize?
Properties: "Levels" and "Orders"
Reduction and Reductionism: A New Look
Nagel Reduction: Troubles with "Bridge Laws"
The Functional Model of Reduction
Functional Properties versus Functional Concepts
Multiple Realization Again
The Supervenience Argument Revisited
The Options: Good News and Bad News