Review of The New Science of the Mind by Marc Rowlands (2013)

Philosophy, Human Nature and the Collapse of Civilization Michael Starks 3rd Ed. (2017) (2017)
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Abstract

Before remarking on “The New Science of the Mind”, I first offer some comments on philosophy and its relationship to contemporary psychological research as exemplified in the works of Searle (S),Wittgenstein (W), Hacker (H) et al. It will help to see my reviews of PNC (Philosophy in a New Century), TLP, PI, OC, Making the Social World (MSW) and other books by and about these geniuses, who provide a clear description of higher order behavior, not found in psychology nor philosophy, that I will refer to as the WS framework. As with so many philosophy books, we might stop with the title. As the quotes and comments above and in my other reviews and the books they cover indicate, there are compelling reasons for regarding the problems we face in describing the psychology of higher order thought as conceptual and not scientific. This ought to be crystal clear to all, but science envy and almost complete oblivion to WSH etc. is a la mode! But as H notes above, the issues discussed here are all about language games and have nothing to do with science. In fact, as usual, if one translates into plain English there is very little of interest here, and certainly nothing not said before and better by WS etc. countless times since the 30’s (see e.g., The Blue and Brown Books from 1933-35). It is not surprising that he makes no significant references to any of the above books or persons (the only reference to S is an article from 1958!), though in my view they are at the top of the list of the major figures in descriptive psychology. On p119 he tells us that the key to all this is to figure out how “…a personal level cognitive process can belong to a representational subject. This is the task of the second half of the book.” But W did this 80 years ago and since we have the beautifully clear explanations of WSH, H&M etc., there is no point to torturing oneself with the rather aimless and opaque prose that veers off at the end into Sartre, Heidegger, Husserl, and Frege, with a dash of postmodernist word salad for good measure. A valiant effort on an interesting topic, but ultimately exhausting and fruitless. Those wishing a comprehensive up to date framework for human behavior from the modern two systems view may consult my book ‘The Logical Structure of Philosophy, Psychology, Mind and Language in Ludwig Wittgenstein and John Searle’ 2nd ed (2019). Those interested in more of my writings may see ‘Talking Monkeys--Philosophy, Psychology, Science, Religion and Politics on a Doomed Planet--Articles and Reviews 2006-2019 3rd ed (2019), The Logical Structure of Human Behavior (2019), and Suicidal Utopian Delusions in the 21st Century 4th ed (2019)

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