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2013 - Volume 34, Numbers 3 and 4, Summer and Autumn

Mentalism as a Radical Behaviorist Views It — Part 2

Part 1 of this review suggested that mentalism consists in explanations of behavior in terms of causal mental states and processes. These causal mental states and processes are inferred to reside in an unobservable dimension beyond that in which behavior occurs, and to function differently from environmental events, variables, and relations. One of those functions is inferred to be mediation, in which environmental events trigger a mediating state or process, which in turn triggers a response. For mentalism, an explanation should properly focus on specifying the causal role of the mediator, rather than talking about observable relations. Part 1 further suggested that mentalism is actually as integral to mediational neobehaviorism as it is to cognitive psychology, even though each claims to differ from the other. Part 2 continues the review of mentalism by addressing the relations among mentalism, operationism, and the meaning of scientific verbal behavior, especially when the verbal behavior involves private behavioral events. The review then considers some sources of mentalism, along with examples of how mentalism is supported in philosophy. Finally, the review summarizes the radical behaviorist opposition to mentalism. Overall, the review concludes that radical behaviorism differs from both cognitive psychology and mediational neobehaviorism, which radical behaviorism regards as comparably mentalistic.

Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to J. Moore, Ph.D., Department of Psychology, University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53201. Email:

The Neurobiology of Transference

Understanding transference in terms of neurobiological mechanisms has been an area of interest throughout the last decade. The newly developed methods of neuroscience, such as neuroimaging and molecular neurobiology, help explain a neurobiological base for biological correlates of the mental process described in psychoanalytic theory. In this review, we present an hypothesis about neurobiology of transference, with the help of other previously proposed mechanisms such as neurobiology of attachment, pattern completion, memory systems, repetition compulsion, and neurobiology of psychotherapy.

Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Aslihan Sayin, M.D., Ph.D., Psychiatry Department of Gazi, University Besevler, Ankara, Turkey. Email:

Psi and the Problem of Consciousness

In this paper, I consider what the growing evidence in parapsychology can tell us about the nature of consciousness. Parapsychology remains controversial because it implies deviations from the understanding that many scientists and philosophers hold about the nature of reality. However, given the difficulties in explaining consciousness, a growing number of philosophers have called for new, possibly radical, explanations, which include versions of dualism or panpsychism. In this spirit, I briefly review the evidence on psi to see what explanation of consciousness might best be supported. After a brief survey of the evidence, I conclude that the best explanation would probably be neutral monism. I then explore a framework for neutral monism, using well-known features of quantum mechanics, to develop a ground or bridge between consciousness and matter. This framework, which I believe helps explain the psi evidence, suggests that a non-local proto-conscious field of potential or seed stuff underlies both matter and consciousness.

Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to George Williams, 8004 Maple Avenue, Takoma Park, Maryland 20912. Email:

Critical Notices

Butterfly in the Typewriter: The Tragic Life of John Kennedy Toole and the Remarkable Story of A Confederacy of Dunces
Book Author: Cory MacLauchlin. Boston and New York: Da Capo Press. 2012, 319 pages, $26.00 hardcover
Reviewed by Leslie Marsh, University of British Columbia

Where does the boundary between the protagonist George Arthur Rose (Hadrian the Seventh, 1904) and his creator Frederick Rolfe (a.k.a. Baron Corvo) lie? The same question can be asked of a handful of other twentieth-century literary titans, including Franz Kafka, Robert Musil, and Yukio Mishima. Joseph K. has been taken to be Kafka’s alter ego in Der Prozess (The Trial, 1925), as has Ulrich in Musil’s Der Mann ohne Eigenschaften (The Man Without Qualities, 1930–1942), and Kochan for Mishima inKamen no Kokuhaku (Confessions of a Mask, 1949). To this very select group one must add John Kennedy Toole and his creation Ignatius Reilly in A Confederacy of Dunces(1981).

Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Leslie Marsh, Office of the Special Advisor for Planning, Dean’s Office, Medical School, University of British Columbia, 317–2194 Health Sciences Mall, Vancouver,
British Columbia, Canada V6T 1Z3. Email:

How Things Shape the Mind: A Theory of Material Engagement
Book Author: Lambros Malafouris. Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press, 2013, 305 pages, $40.00 hardcover
Reviewed by Duilio Garofoli, Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen and Senckenberg Research Institute

How Things Shape the Mind: A Theory of Material Engagement represents a synthesis of the positions that the author, Lambros Malafouris, has developed over the course of his career, supplemented by the addition of new explanatory examples and unpublished chapters. The main objective of the book is to provide a unitary account of material engagement theory, the actual keystone that binds the multiple streams of argument presented by the author in his previous works. The book is organized in three main sections, which respectively take into account epistemological aspects, theoretical tenets, and empirical applications of material engagement theory.

Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Duilio Garofoli, Zentrum für Naturwissenschaftliche Archäologie, Abt. Paläoanthropologie. Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen, Rümelinstr. 23, 72070 Tübingen, Germany; or Research Center “The Role of Culture in Early Expansions of Humans” of the Heidelberg Academy of Sciences and Humanities, Senckenberg Research Institute, Senckenberganlage 25, 60325 Frankfurt/M, Germany. Email:

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