Most of the books on philosophy of mind have been published in English. But there is a small number of them in Russian. These 6 books will help people who read in Russian to learn basic things about philsophy of mind.
1. “The Conscious Mind”
This book, first published in 1996, has become one of the most prominent philosophical treatises of the end of the 20th century. Today it is impossible to find serious work on the problem of consciousness in which there would be no references to Chalmers. “The Conscious Mind” is a fascinating story about the deepest philosophical paradoxes and mysteries of consciousness. It is a provocative study in which an attempt is made to justify the “naturalistic dualism” based on the author’s thesis about the non-physical nature of consciousness and its dependence on the functional schemes in the brain. Chalmers also claims that his theory opens up new perspectives for the interpretation of quantum mechanics and suggests the possibility of conscious robots. Clarity of exposition, bold ideas, originality of thought experiments, accuracy of reasoning and wide erudition of the author of this book has made it a real gift for anyone interested in philosophy.
2. “Consciousness and Things”
“Consciousness and Things”, a new book by Vadim Vasilyev, presents a theory of consciousness labeled as a “local interactionism”. The previous work “The Hard Problem of Consciousness” was a sketch of intended solutions, here they are completely explicated. By developing his own method of phenomenological deductions and connecting it with a traditional analytic method of conceptual analysis, author takes the reader from general premises to final conclusions. He shows how it is possible to combine causal potential of consciousness with a principle of causal closure of the physical. Moreover, separating the mind-body problem into seven sequentially connected issues, Vadim Vasilyev brings us to his own solution to the problem of consciousness. Here we are dealing with a full-weight philosophic treatise: basic definitions deduced from fundamental principles, which, in turn, are derived from suggestions of the nature of consciousness. Author also tries to answer to possible criticisms of every step of his constructions. Undoubtedly, reading the book “Consciousness and Things” will be a great pleasure to those keen on philosophy.
3. “The Nature of Phenomenal Consciousness”
It’s little wonder Dmitriy Ivanov’s book is entitled “The Nature of Phenomenal Consciousness”, as it’s the phenomenal side of the conscious experience that makes discussion of consciousness so exciting and attractive for specialists from different intellectual fields.
In a polemical manner, the author discusses a variety of ways of how to explain the nature of the phenomenal experience, and even suggests an original perspective for solving “the hard problem of consciousness”. This approach makes his book an exceedingly interesting read, and encourages the reader to seek answers on questions about consciousness.
4. “The Boston Zombie: D. Dennett and his theory of consciousness”
The book is focused on the theory of consciousness by Daniel Dennett, a widely known American philosopher.
The author provides critical analysis of Dennett’s ideas in the context of contemporary philosophical debates.
5. “The Stuff of Thought”
The Stuff of Thought is a revelation. In this exhilarating new book, Steven Pinker analyzes how our words relate to thoughts and to the world around us and reveals what this tells us about ourselves.
The Stuff of Thought is a book for everyone. Steven Pinker has devoted his life to studying the way we think and communicate.
And language, in his hands, becomes a profound, and highly entertaining, way to shed light on every aspect of human nature.
6. “Materialism and Consciousness”
Svetlana Nagumanova’s book under the title “Materialism and Consciousness: the Analysis of the Discussion on the Nature of Consciousness in the Contemporary Analytic Philosophy” suggests the reader to immerse himself in the discussion of the materialist paradigm to explain the phenomenon of consciousness. Undoubtedly, a critical and comprehensive analysis of the conceptual difficulties of various theoretical positions is one of the main advantages of this book. Its main goal is to evaluate the research potential of these positions, as the explaining of the meaning of Consciousness, without succumbing to the temptation of an additional ontology is a difficult task in the pale of materialism. But, still, it can be solved. The author says that among all of the existing concepts of consciousness the representationalism has the greatest potential in solving the difficult problem of Consciousness. But, for now we cannot claim that it is true. Anyway, after reading this book you will find a partial answer to your question.
The seminar has been devoted to the book of the distinguished Oxford philosopher Richard Swinburne “Mind, Brain and Free Will”. Swinburn takes an unpopular position for nowdays, defending the substance dualism and proving the existence not only of the soul, but of God. His ideas do not find wide support among the staff of the Center, nevertheless, we consider it important to discuss those views that do not evoke agreement. This is one of the most important foundations of scientific dialogue.
The problem of personal identity is one of the most discussed in the contemporary philosophy. It includes questions about the Self, personality, its identity in time and unity. May 17, 2018, at the Faculty of Philosophy of Moscow State University hosted a conference on this issue.
Congratulations to Dmitry Volkov, co-director of the Center, for obtaining the post of professor at the Faculty of Philosophy of Moscow State University!
Eric Olson is known by his animalist position on personal identity, that actually we should shift our attention from the personal identity question to the issue of personal ontology namely what exists as a person. Here he comes to the conclusion that we are animals. We invited Olson to our seminar where we are discussing his recent paper "For Animalism".
Participants of the seminar: Eric Olson, Vadim Vasiliev, Dmitry Volkov, Robert Howell, Andrew Mertsalov, Eugene Loginov, Artem Besedin, Oksana Cherkashina, students of Faculty of Philosophy of Moscow State University.
Moderator - Anton Kuznetsov
This is an interview with philosopher Eric Olson. Olson is known by his claim that persons are animals. Vadim Vasiliev and Dmitry Volkov are asking him questions about the details and consequences of that claim.
This Lecture Eric Olson gave at the Moscow State University on May 15, 2019, as a guest of our Center.
"Transhumanists want to free us from the constraints imposed by our humanity by extracting information from the brain, transferring it to a computer, and using it to create a purely electronic person there. That is supposed to move us from our human bodies to computers. This presupposes that a human being could literally move to a computer by a mere transfer of information. The talk is about whether this is metaphysically possible."
April 8th there will be a report "Basic Approaches to the Mind-Body Problem in Philosophy" of Anton Kuznetsov in the main building of MSU. If you want to learn more and to attend this event, please click the link.
This seminar is devoted to the ideas of Galen Strawson, one of the most original contemporary thinkers. Strawson believes that real materialism is materialism, which recognizes the reality of consciousness, and does not deny it. Therefore, panpsychism is the real materialist theory. Also, Strawson proposes to reconsider the concept of self or subject, considering that the confusion arising in connection with the problem of identity of personality is related to the fact that we mix several concepts of the subject together. He does this using his own method - cognitive phenomenology.
The keynote speakers are Artem Besedin (PhD in Moscow State University and MCCS), Vadim Vasilyev (Ph.D. in Moscow State University and MCCS).
The seminar was also attended by Professor R. Howell, Ph.D. A. Kuznetsov, Ph.D. E. Loginov, A. Tanyushina, A. Pavlov, undergraduate and graduate students of the Faculty of Philosophy of Moscow State University.