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Natural realism : the world and the mind according to Aquinas, Dretske, and Putnam

Title:

Natural realism : the world and the mind according to Aquinas, Dretske, and Putnam

Sabelli, Sister. Mary Veronica (1998) Natural realism : the world and the mind according to Aquinas, Dretske, and Putnam. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

St, Thomas Aquinas' and Fred Dretske's accounts of mind and cognition are explored, compared, and contrasted. Similarities are found in their accounts of the mind's cognitive operation, in that both accounts recognize the presence of representations at the levels of perception and conceptualization, and both begin with external objects and move inward to sense perception, conceptualization, and the mind's knowledge of itself. However, their accounts of what the mind is differ sharply, in that Dretske holds a non-reductionist materialist position while Aquinas maintains that the human being has a composite character. Aquinas is not a dualist, however, in that he takes the mind to be a capacity, not a substance, Hilary Putnam's criticisms of representationalism and what he calls "traditional realism" or "metaphysical realism," as well as his support for a turn in philosophy to what he calls "natural realism," are explored in relation to the accounts of Aquinas and Dretske, neither of whose theories are found to propose either the sort of representationalism nor the sort of metaphysical realism criticized by Putnam. Rather, their accounts are found to be conducive to natural realism.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Philosophy
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Sabelli, Sister. Mary Veronica
Pagination:iv, 85 leaves ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Theses (M.A.)
Program:Philosophy
Date:1998
Thesis Supervisor(s):Clarke, Murray
ID Code:557
Deposited By:Concordia University Libraries
Deposited On:27 Aug 2009 13:12
Last Modified:08 Dec 2010 10:15
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