Erik C. BanksThe Realistic Empiricism of Mach, James, and Russell: Neutral Monism Reconceived

Cambridge University Press, 2014

by Carrie Figdor on January 15, 2015

Erik C. Banks

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The Austrian physicist Ernst Mach, the American psychologist William James, and the British philosopher Bertrand Russell shared an interest in explaining the mind in naturalistic terms – unified with the rest of nature, not metaphysically distinct as Descartes argued. In The Realistic Empiricism of Mach, James, and Russell: Neutral Monism Reconceived (Cambridge University Press, 2014), Erik C. Banks delves into the movement that these three figures launched, for the first time showing how they provide a unified, if incomplete, theory of the mind. Realistic empiricism combines a direct realist view about knowledge with neutral monism – the idea that the basic events that make up the world are neither mental nor physical and can be manifested as either. Banks also advances the position as a non-panpsychist contender in contemporary philosophy of mind, and outlines the underlying mathematical framework for the basic events.

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