The central theme of this impressively argued study is that the mental and physical are identical. Drawing heavily on recent scientific research into the mind-brain relationship, Dr Wilson argues that human mentality, rationality and purposefulness are phenomena which come within the compass of scientifically based explanation. The consequences of this thesis are enormous both in relation to the controversies about reasons and causes as explanations of human behaviour, and, more important, to the problems of free will, moral responsibility, penal philosophy, ethics and the law. The book argues that free will is a misconceived idea and that our notions of moral responsibility need radical revision. The book is of considerable relevance not only to academic philosophy but also to scientists and jurisprudents interested in the implications of this study. Originally published in 1979.
Introduction Part 1 1. Conceptual Thinking and Philosophical Disagreement 2. Two Incompatible Models of Persons Part 2 3. The Mental and the Physical 4. Mind-Brain Identity Theory 5. Objections to Mind-Brain Identity Theory Part 3 6. Casual Necessity 7. Human Action Part 4 8. Free-Will and Determinism 9. Moral Responsibility Part 5 10. Physicalism and Jurisprudence 11. The Reasonable Man 12. Crime Disease and Maladjustment 13. The Mental as Physical: Conclusions