The Realistic Empiricism of Mach, James, and Russell
In the early twentieth century, Ernst Mach, William James, and Bertrand Russell founded a philosophical and scientific movement known as 'neutral monism', based on the view that minds and physical objects are constructed out of elements or events which are neither mental nor physical, but neutral between the two. This movement offers a unified scientific outlook which includes sensations in human experience and events in the world of physics under one roof. In this book Erik C. Banks discusses this important movement as a whole for the first time. He explores the ways in which the three philosophers can be connected, and applies their ideas to contemporary problems in the philosophy of mind and the philosophy of science - in particular the relation of sensations to brain processes, and the problem of constructing extended bodies in space and time from particular events and causal relations.
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abstract actually algebra Analysis assert atoms Banks believed blobs and squiggles brain called causal relations color complex concepts concrete configured conservation of energy construction direct realism dualism elementary events empirical empiricist enhanced physicalism Ernst Mach event particulars example explain extension exterior product external objects forces fundamental Grassmann Grassmann algebra Herbart higher-order idea identical image propositions individual events instantiates intellectual interactions intuition James’s judgment of perception Kant kind laws Leibniz logical Mach and James Mach’s macro-causal manifestation events manifold mechanical mechanical philosophy mental images metaphysical mind-independent motion natural events neurons neutral monism observed panpsychist perceive perspectival perspectives phenomenological philosophy physical events physical objects physicalist point-events potential principle priori problem processes properties psychology realistic empiricism realistic empiricist represent representation Riemann Russell Russell’s sense data sensory simply space space-time spatial spatio-temporal structure supervenience theory of knowledge token manifestations vectors Vienna Circle visual