Prolegomena: Mind and Its Place in Nature
In this first lecture Quine argues for a physicalistic monism and examines how mentalistic discourse can be located in that framework. He defends the following standard: a mental event qualifies as physically genuine if it is specifiable strictly by physiological description, presumably neurological, without any appeal to mentalistic terms. He further characterizes the basic mentalistic level that his view can accept: the learning process involving perception, expectation, action and pleasure, which all have important neural analogues. It is from this starting point that he further speculates how it is possible to move from such perceptual events to our knowledge of nature. Lastly, he reflects more generally on what epistemology looks like when it is placed within this physicalist framework with its focus on language.