Minds, Brains and Science (Magill's Literary Annual 1986)
In 1948, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) established the annual Reith Lectures, six half-hour radio talks broadcast over the BBC Home Service, in honor of Sir John C. W. Reith, managing director (1922-1926) of the BBC and director-general (1927-1938) of the successor corporation. The first Reith Lectures, given by the noted philosopher Bertrand Russell, set the tone for those that followed. Since that inaugural series, the talks, on many issues of contemporary intellectual, political, or social importance, have been addressed to a general audience with curiosity and intelligence enough to follow the development of a coherent argument, despite the lack of technical expertise in the field discussed.
Minds, Brains and Science is a slightly revised version of the 1984 Reith Lectures given by John Searle, professor of philosophy at the University of California, Berkeley, and only the second philosopher (after Russell) to have been honored as Reith Lecturer. In his introduction, Searle explains that the general theme of the lectures—“the relationship of human beings to the rest of the universe”—is easily adaptable to the special format of the radio series, six independent but related talks, each of which can stand alone or be taken together with the others in a broader examination of the central theme. In choosing so large a general theme, Searle admits to a missionary interest in making “the results and methods of modern analytic...
(The entire section is 2333 words.)
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Bibliography (Magill's Literary Annual 1986)
Anderson, David. “Is the Chinese Room the Real Thing?” in Philosophy. LXII (July, 1987), pp. 388-393.
Cuda, Tom. “Against Neural Chauvinism,” in Philosophical Studies. XLVIII (July, 1985), pp. 111-185.
Donagan, Alan. Choice: The Essential Element in Human Action, 1987.
Landesman, Charles. “Minds, Brains, and Searle,” in Metaphilosophy. XVII (April-July, 1986), pp. 172-182.
Rey, Georges. “What’s Really Going on in Searle’s ‘Chinese Room,’” in Philosophical Studies. L (Spring, 1986), pp. 169-185.
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