Narrative Naturalism: An Alternative Framework for Philosophy of Mind

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Narrative Naturalism: An Alternative Framework for Philosophy of Mind provides an original framework for a non-reductive approach to mind and philosophical psychology. Jessica Wahman challenges the reductive (i.e., mechanistic and physicalist) assumptions that render the mind-body problem intractable, and claims that George Santayana's naturalism provides a more beneficial epistemological method and ontological framework for thinking about the place of consciousness in the natural world. She uses Santayana's thought as the primary inspiration for her own specific viewpoint, one that draws on a variety of sources, from analytic philosophy of mind to existentialism and psychoanalysis. This outlook, narrative naturalism, depicts sense-making as a kind of storytelling where different narratives serve different purposes, and Wahman offer a unique worldview to accommodate a variety of true expressions about the world, including truths about subjective existence. Motivated by a desire to challenge the reductionist approaches that explain human motivation and experience in terms of neuroscience and by the increasingly pharmacological interpretations of and solutions to psychological problems, Wahman's overarching purpose is to reconstruct the issue so that neuroscience can be embraced as an indispensable story among others in our understanding of the human condition. When placed in this context, neurobiological discoveries better serve the values and practices associated with human self-knowledge and well-being. Narrative Naturalism will appeal to those interested in American philosophy, Santayana scholarship, pragmatist epistemology, philosophy of mind, philosophical psychology, and metaphysics.