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Cover for The Natural Method

The Natural Method

Essays on Mind, Ethics, and Self in Honor of Owen Flanagan

Eddy Nahmias (Editor), Thomas W. Polger (Editor), Wenqing Zhao (Editor)


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Prominent philosophers explore themes in the work of Owen Flanagan, focusing on debates about the nature of mind, the self, and morality.

Owen Flanagan's work offers a model for how to be a naturalistic and scientifically informed philosopher who writes beautifully and deeply about topics as varied as consciousness and Buddhism, moral psychology and dreaming, identity and addiction, literature and neuroscience. In this volume, leading philosophers—Flanagan's friends, colleagues, and former students—explore themes in his work, focusing on debates over the nature of mind, the self, and morality. Some contributors address Flanagan's work directly; others are inspired by his work or methodology. Their essays are variously penetrating and synoptic, cautious and speculative.

The contributors offer proposals for productive interdisciplinary research exploring consciousness, personhood, religious cognition, mental disorders, addiction, the narrative self, virtue, the social sciences, forgiveness, and comparative philosophy. The authors share a commitment to virtues exemplified in Flanagan's work—interdisciplinary inquiry, an optimistic temperament, and a willingness to change one's mind.


Jack Bauer, Patricia S. Churchland, Peggy DesAutels, George Graham, Philip J. Ivanhoe, Alasdair MacIntyre, Robert N. McCauley, Eddy Nahmias, Thomas W. Polger, Galen Strawson, Şerife Tekin, Robert Van Gulick, David B. Wong, Wenqing Zhao

The MIT Press, 9780262043991, 278pp.

Publication Date: August 4, 2020

About the Author

Eddy Nahmias is Professor and Chair of Philosophy at Georgia State University.

Thomas W. Polger is Professor and Department Head in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Cincinnati.

Wenqing Zhao is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Whitman College.