Trim: 6 x 9
978-0-7391-8797-5 • Hardback • July 2015 • $109.00 • (£84.00)
978-0-7391-8798-2 • eBook • July 2015 • $45.00 • (£35.00)
Jessica Wahman is visiting associate professor of philosophy at Emory University’s Oxford College.
2. The Physicalist Trap
4. The Essence(S) Of the Matter
5. Why Psyche Matters
6. Expressive Truth
7. Irreducible Spirit
8. Some Uses Of This Discovery
Jessica Wahman has organized a sophisticated and well-written Santayanan counterattack. Her aim is to show that Santayana’s naturalism is suited to contribute to current debates over reductionism and the philosophy of mind. Wahman rejects mechanism and physicalism as philosophical misinterpretations of the natural sciences. She employs careful arguments in epistemology and neuroscience to display Santayana’s scheme as an alternative to both reductive physicalism and emergence. . . .[T]his volume rights a wrong within the contemporary American tradition: the neglect of one of its most provocative early naturalists and his rightful impact on current debate.
— Review of Metaphysics
Jessica Wahman has written a superior book. Starting with ideas found in George Santayana’s later works, Wahman develops several implications of these ideas to address some recent turns of thought. Narrative Naturalism, as a consequence, is not an exposition of Santayana’s writings, nor is it aimed primarily at Santayana scholars, but rather at the wide range of contemporary philosophers, especially those who have followed recent discussions in cognitive science. Furthermore, as she writes with a clear, straightforward style and addresses the theoretic grounding of psychotherapy, this book should also benefit practicing psychotherapists. It could also serve to introduce the generally educated reader to issues in both cognitive theory and psychotherapy—and to the ideas of Santayana, as well. . . .[A] fine and illuminating analysis.
— Overheard in Seville: Bulletin of the George Santayana Society
Narrative Naturalism is a first-rate study of George Santayana’s contribution to contemporary philosophy. Far more than this, it is an instance of first-rate philosophizing. Its wide-ranging erudition is indeed matched by its deep-cutting insights. The clarity, precision, and subtlety with which complex issues are accessibly presented are evident at every turn, as are the care, rigor, and imagination with which the author’s own methodological and substantive positions are defended. Jessica Wahman’s singular contribution to contemporary debates about mind, consciousness, and identity deepens our understanding of the principal questions and opens our minds to a spectrum of possible answers beyond what is presently envisioned.
— Vincent Colapietro, Pennsylvania State University
The great revival of Santayana's philosophy includes not only careful interpretations of his work, but also creative extensions of his ideas. A sprightly new voice, Wahman deepens the conversation and makes a persuasive case for narrative naturalism.
— John Lachs, Vanderbilt University