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The Analysis of Mind

Bertrand Russell

Book Overview: 

A neat work on philosophy of mind by the 20th century analytic philosopher Bertrand Russell.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Neither of these can be pressed beyond a point. Either may be (a) to some extent present in dead matter, and (b) to a considerable extent absent in animals, while vegetable are intermediate, and display only a much fainter form of the behaviour which leads us to attribute desire to animals. (a) One might say rivers "desire" the sea water, roughly speaking, remains in restless motion until it reaches either the sea or a place from which it cannot issue without going uphill, and therefore we might say that this is what it wishes while it is flowing. We do not say so, because we can account for the behaviour of water by the laws of physics; and if we knew more about animals, we might equally cease to attribute desires to them, since we might find physical and chemical reactions sufficient to account for their behaviour. (b) Many of the movements of animals do not exhibit the characteristics of the cycles which seem to embody desire. There are first of all the movements which. . . Read More

Community Reviews

A bit dry at times but full of deep thoughts on the workings of he mind. Favorite quote on evolving every day was "Any of us confronted by a forgotten letter written some years ago will be astonished to find how much more foolish our opinions were than we had remembered them as being".

When you drop a weight on your toe, and you say what you do say, the habit has been caused by imitation of your undesirable associates, whereas it is brought into play by the dropping of the weight.

It is a puzzle of our modern scientific worldview that we have been extremely successful in explai

Building from the scratch on what is mind, thought, memory, perception etc he has gone in great detail in establishing the truth in various definitions of the same. a very heavy read, but worth its philosophical content.

"The unconscious becomes a sort of underground prisoner, living in a dungeon, breaking in at long intervals upon our daylight respectability with dark groans and maledictions and strange atavistic lusts."

In which Bertrand Russell teaches young people how to use a couple SAT/GRE words in a single sen

His analytical thinking is superb. Reminds me the work of Pinker on mind and language as they reach same conclusion that grammar is the basis of metaphysics. Simplistic as the subject could be but elaborative as a philosopher should do. Brilliant work

Brilliant book, I thoroughly enjoyed it, and following it really made me think about the connection between mind (exemplified by psychology) and matter (exemplified by physics), and how Russell believes them to be made of the same neutral "stuff". The book made me really question and examine within

A confusing book, originally a series of 15 lectures, in which analytic philosopher Bertrand Russell tries to do two things:

1. Establish his thesis of neutral monism, as applied to the mind.
2. Make his thesis plausible by incorporating all contemporary scientific theories within his framework.

As re

Not easy to read...I'm going to have to read again sometime. It was interesting though.

This is an excellent book that, as it claims, works to reconcile physics with psychology. I only have two complaints: a.) as with anything written concerning psychology prior to the advent of neuroscience, some of the content is severely dated--the sections on memory and emotion, for instance, and b

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