John R. Searle's The Rediscovery of the Mind is a survey of modern value systems. Through this survey, he aims to break the shackles he perceives as binding modern philosophical thinking. Searle tilts his lance at the dominant philosophical paradigms of materialism and property dualism.
By critiquing, criticizing and overcoming both these somewhat over-rated dominant and historical theories in the study of the unconscious mind, a portrait emerges of consciousness as the most important mental phenomenon to be examined. Searle feels that only now are he and his fellow theorists just beginning to rediscover the true character of the mind.
One of the hardest challenges facing philosophers is to shed light on differences between the intrinsic world which exists independent of any observer, as opposed to those characteristics which are observer relative - existing solely in relationship to the observer. An object may have mass which is intrinsic, but if a function is assigned to that object, that function has a relative quality. While the natural sciences are concerned with the intrinsic value of things, Searle flies in the face of such prevailing views - what he refers to as "an inner subjective qualitative state of consciousness" (p. xi), as well as mental states based on beliefs and desires, intentions and perceptions.
In fact, consciousness and intentionality are biological processes resulting from lower-level neural impulses in the brain. Both states of being are inherently intertwined through an unconscious intentional state based solely on a accessibility to consciousness.
Searle's theory cuts against the grain of the currently pervading philosophy of materialism, or its antithesis in "property dualism." Searle states that one can accept the normal laws of physics, without denying that amid the physical features of the world are inherent biological phenomena such as inner qualitative states of consciousness and ...