Brain and Mind

, Volume 2, Issue 3, pp 343-358

First online:

A Tradition Ignored: Review Essay of John Symons' On Dennett

  • Stefanie RocknakAffiliated withDepartment of Philosophy, Hartwick College

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access


Although Symons' recent book, On Dennett(Wadsworth, 2002), provides scientists with ahelpful, general introduction to Dennett'sthought, it presents a skewed version of thehistory of the philosophy of mind. Inparticular, the continental tradition is almostentirely ignored, if not glibly dismissed. As aresult, the unwary reader of this book wouldnever realize that Dilthey, Sartre and Husserl,like Dennett, offer a ``middle ground'' betweennaturalistic realism and naturalisticeliminativism. However, unlike Dennett, therespective positions of Dilthey, Sartre andHusserl are not ontologically indifferent, butinstead, present a non-naturalistic form ofrealism that does not simultaneously invokeCartesian dualism.

Dennett Dilthey Dualism history of neurophilosophy Husserl John Symons mental objects mental things naturalism neurophilosophy philosophy of mind Rocknak Sartre