Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Book Review: Analysis of Mind

'Analysis of Mind' by Bertrand Russel opens with certain fundamental questions about the nature of consciousness, and an examination of various theories extant.
For example, "The stuff of which the world of our experience is composed is, in my belief, neither mind nor matter, but something more primitive than either. Both mind and matter seem to be composite, and the stuff of which they are compounded lies in a sense between the two, in a sense above them both, like a common ancestor." Or, "idealism tends to suppress the object, while realism tends to suppress the content." 
The book then goes into other aspects of instinct and behavior. Next chapter is about desire and feeling and how past history influences it. This is followed by a chapter on how, external perception furnish data for our knowledge of matter, and "introspection," furnish data for knowledge of our mental processes. Memory and its attributes like accuracy, vagueness etc, and its relationship with the past and present events is discussed. Next chapter is about the "most mental thing" we do, believing. In fact our intellectual life consists of beliefs, and of the passage from one belief to another by what is called " reasoning." And the essential elements of thought, knowledge, error, truth, and falsehood, are but a product of this.
Though this book does not draw any unique conclusions on the nature of mind, it gives certain insight into the theories by familiarizing the reader with the ideas extant.