Richard Owen on the mind/body problem

Theor Biol Forum. 2013;106(1-2):131-46.


Contrary to the received view of Richard Owen as a Platonic and conservative naturalist, we document that he held a radically physicalist worldview that extended to so tough a matter as the Mind/Body Problem. We argue that if viewed from the perspective of his overall comparative project, Owen's reflections on the nature of mind at the end of volume III of On the anatomy of vertebrates can be read as an anticipation of some of the main tenets of the Brain State Theory of mind developed since the mid 20th century.

Publication types

  • Historical Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biological Evolution*
  • Biology / history*
  • Biophysics
  • Brain / physiology*
  • History, 19th Century
  • Humans
  • Thinking*