chapter
12 Pages

Introduction

ByTIM CRANE AND SARAH P AT TERSON

Herbert Feigl once described the mind-body problem as ‘a cluster of intricate puzzles – some scientific, some epistemological … some semantical and some pragmatic’.1 Reflection on the current debate on the mind-body problem would seem to support Feigl’s judgement: although most writers on the subject testify to the importance of the problem, many offer very different interpretations of what the problem is. For some, the problem is fundamentally a causal problem, a problem about the causal interaction between mental phenomena and the body.2 For others, the problem is an explanatory one: what kind of explanation can be given of mental phenomena, consistent with the conception of the world given to us by contemporary science? In particular, the distinctive characteristics of the mind, intentionality and consciousness, are features of which (it is claimed) current science has no adequate account, and in the case of consciousness at least, the problems in giving such an account are sometimes taken to be insuperable.3