School of Religion, Philosophy & Classics

UKZN Alumnus publishes book on Biological Naturalism and the Mind-Body Problem

Dr Jane Anderson and her new book.
Photos: Supplied
Dr Jane Anderson and her new book.

Dr Jane Anderson, School of Religion, Philosophy and Classics alumnus, recently published a book: Biological Naturalism and the Mind-Body Problem, that stemmed from her PhD studies.

The book offers a new theoretical framework within which to understand the ‘mind-body problem’.

‘The crux of this problem is phenomenal experience, which Thomas Nagel famously described as “what it is like” to be a certain living creature. David Chalmers refers to the problem of what it is like as “the hard problem of consciousness”, and claims that this problem is so hard to investigate that many investigators have avoided tackling it directly. Many even go so far as to claim that there is literally nothing to investigate: that phenomenal experience is illusory. In contrast, this book contends that phenomenal experience is both very real and very important,’ explained Anderson.

Offering advice to aspiring writers, Anderson said, ‘I had a pretty bad time trying to finish my PhD in the face of every kind of problem and delay you can imagine, but I stuck it out, and now just look at my reward! A publication by one of the top academic publishers in Philosophy! Believe in yourself, grit your teeth, and just imagine how you will feel when you are finally able to get the result of all your hard work out into the world.’

The book is available for purchase from Palgrave Macmillan (EUR93.08 for the eBook, and EUR109.99 for the hardcover book).