Analysis of Mind Centenary: History & Future of Russellian Monism

June 6, 2022 - June 7, 2022
McMaster University

The University Club of McMaster Alumni Memorial Hall
Hamilton L8S 4K1


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Bertrand Russell's 1921 The Analysis of Mind marks his first, book-length presentation of a view he dubbed "neutral monism." This is the view that reality is composed of one basic kind of stuff that is itself neither mental nor physical. For Russell, the mental and physical are more complex facts built out of this more basic stuff. Analysis of Mind combines metaphysical ideas along these lines from William James, the American new realists, and Ernst Mach, with more recent behaviorist work in psychology, presenting a scientifically-informed, metaphysical conception of the relation between mind and matter.

This is an event celebrating the centenary of Russell's remarkable book (delayed by a year due to covid). As such some of our speakers will examine the historical context of this work. But Russell's distinctive monism continues to inspire discussion in philosophy of mind and metaphysics today, so our conference will bring historians together with philosophers working on neutral monism to consider ways these ideas might continue to be fruitfully developed in the future. 

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May 23, 2022, 9:00am EST

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