Philosophy of Mind
Descartes explains how the eyes can focus on a nearby object. From Stephen Gaukroger (Ed), The World and Other Writings, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2004, p. 158.
|PHL 244, PHL 244W, PHL 444||Dewey Hall 2110D||Tuesdays and Thursdays, 12:30pm to 1:45pm|
|Brad Weslakefirstname.lastname@example.org||520 Lattimore||Wednesdays 11am–12pm, or by appointment|
This course is an overview of the recent history of philosophy of mind, focusing on the relationship between the mind and the physical world. The aim is to trace through some of the central debates in this history, and to assess where we stand today. Topics covered include the question of how to formulate physicalism about the mind; an examination of behaviourism, the identity theory, and functionalist theories of the mind; the prospects for integrating consciousness and mental content within a physicalist worldview; and the problem of mental causation. The course may be taken for upper level writing credit.
The textbook will not be available in the campus bookstore. Note that the 3rd Edition is required—make sure you do not buy the 1st or 2nd Editions.
- Fifteen 1–2 page weekly reading summaries.
- Two 8–10 page research papers.
The final grade will be determined approximately as follows:
|First Research Paper:||35%|
|Second Research Paper:||50%|
Note: Graduate students or students enrolled for upper level writing credit will be required to write longer papers. Graduate students will also be required to do additional reading and meet for an additional discussion section.
|Reading Summaries:||At each associated class, with no exceptions|
|First Paper:||Thursday 6 March||Questions [PDF]|
|Second Paper:||Friday 2 May||Questions [PDF]|
Paper guidelines [PDF]
Meeting One: Introductory Discussion (Thursday 16 January)
- Lycan, William G. 2003. “The Mind–Body Problem”, in Stich and Warfield (Ed), The Blackwell Guide to Philosophy of Mind, Blackwell, Malden MA, pp. 47–64. URI: http://goo.gl/xUzTNo.
Meeting Two: The Mark of The Mental (Tuesday 21 January)
- Kim (2010, Chapter 1). URI: http://goo.gl/otZ9Ee
- Schwitzgebel, Eric. 2008. “The Unreliability of Naive Introspection”, in The Philosophical Review, Vol. 117, No. 2, April, pp. 245–273. URI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1215/00318108-2007-037.
- Crane, Tim. 1998. “Intentionality as the Mark of the Mental”, in O’Hear (Ed), Current Issues in Philosophy of Mind, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, Vol. 43, pp. 229–252. URI: http://goo.gl/EhdLRy.
Meeting Three: Defining Physicalism (Thursday 23 January)
- Ney, Alyssa. 2008. “Defining Physicalism”, in Philosophy Compass, Vol. 3, No. 5, September, pp. 1033–1048. URI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1747-9991.2008.00163.x.
- Stoljar, Daniel. 2009. “Physicalism”, in Zalta (Ed), Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Stanford University, Stanford. URI: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/physicalism/, §§1–12.
Meeting Four: Epistemological Arguments for Dualism (Tuesday 28 January)
- Kim (2010, Chapter 2, pp. 31–45). URI: http://goo.gl/zmZuy5
Meeting Five: Causal Arguments against Dualism (Thursday 30 January)
- Kim (2010, Chapter 2, pp. 46–57). URI: http://goo.gl/zmZuy5
- Garber, Daniel. 1983. “Understanding Interaction: What Descartes Should Have Told Elisabeth”, in Southern Journal of Philosophy, Vol. 21, pp. 15–32. URI: http://goo.gl/PKsvPK.
No Class Tuesday 4 February
Meeting Six: Behaviourism (Thursday 6 February)
- Kim (2010, Chapter 3).
Meeting Seven: Simplicity Arguments for The Identity Theory (Tuesday 11 February)
- Kim (2010, Chapter 4, pp. 91–102).
- Smart, J. J. C. 1959. “Sensations and Brain Processes”, in The Philosophical Review, Vol. 68, No. 2, April, pp. 141–156. URI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/2182164.
Meeting Eight: Causal Arguments for The Identity Theory (Thursday 13 February)
- Kim (2010, Chapter 4, pp. 102–114).
- Lewis, David. 1966. “An Argument for the Identity Theory”, in The Journal of Philosophy, Vol. 63, No. 1, January, pp. 17–25. URI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/2024524.
Meeting Nine: Multiple Realisation Arguments Against The Identity Theory (Tuesday 18 February)
- Kim (2010, Chapter 4, pp. 114–127).
- Putnam, Hilary. 1967. “Psychological Predicates”, in Capitan and Merrill (Ed), Art, Mind, and Religion, University of Pittsburgh Press, Pittsburgh, pp. 37–48. Reprinted as “The Nature of Mental States”. URI: http://goo.gl/dgzEw6
- Lewis, David. 1980. “Mad Pain and Martian Pain”, in Block (Ed), Readings in Philosophy of Psychology, Harvard University Press, Cambridge MA, Vol. 1, pp. 216–222. URI: http://goo.gl/4d6Xqv
Meeting Ten: Machine Functionalism (Thursday 20 February)
- Kim (2010, Chapter 5, pp. 129–156).
- Piccinini, Gualtiero. 2010. “The Mind as Neural Software? Understanding Functionalism, Computationalism, and Computational Functionalism”, in Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, Vol. 81, No. 2, September, pp. 269–311. URI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1933-1592.2010.00356.x.
Meeting Eleven: The Chinese Room (Tuesday 25 February)
- Kim (2010, Chapter 5, pp. 156–165).
- Searle, John R. 1980. “Minds, Brains, and Programs”, in Behavioral and Brain Sciences, Vol. 3, No. 3, September, pp. 417–424. URI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0140525X00005756.
No Class Thursday 27 February
Meeting Twelve: More on Functionalism and The Chinese Room (Tuesday 4 March)
- Kim (2010, Chapter 6).
Meeting Thirteen: Functionalism and Mental Causation (Thursday 6 March)
- Block, Ned. 1990. “Can the Mind Change the World?”, in Boolos (Ed), Meaning and Method: Essays in Honor of Hilary Putnam, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp. 137–170. URI: http://goo.gl/23EE5M
- Rescorla, Michael. 2014. “The Causal Relevance of Content to Computation”, in Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, Vol. 88, No. 1, January, pp. 173–208. URI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1933-1592.2012.00619.x.
No Class Tuesday 11 March and Thursday 13 March
Meeting Fourteen: Anomalous Monism (Tuesday 18 March)
- Kim (2010, Chapter 7, pp. 193–213).
- Woodward, James. 2003. “Causal Explanation: Background and Criticism”, in Making Things Happen: A Theory of Causal Explanation, Oxford University Press, New York, pp. 152–186. URI: http://goo.gl/PM8uqm.
Meeting Fifteen: The Exclusion Argument (Thursday 20 March)
- Kim (2010, Chapter 7, pp. 214–219).
- Bennett, Karen. 2003. “Why the Exclusion Problem Seems Intractable, and How, Just Maybe, To Tract It”, in Noûs, Vol. 37, No. 3, September, pp. 471–497. URI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1468-0068.00447.
Meeting Sixteen: More on The Exclusion Argument (Tuesday 25 March)
- Kim (2010, Chapter 7, pp. 220–223).
Meeting Seventeen: Theories of Content (Thursday 27 March)
- Kim (2010, Chapter 8, pp. 227–241).
Meeting Eighteen: Content Externalism (Tuesday 1 April)
- Kim (2010, Chapter 8, pp. 241–254).
- Putnam, Hilary. 1975. “The Meaning of “Meaning””, in Gunderson (Ed), Language, Mind, and Knowledge, University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, Vol. 7, pp. 131–193. URI: http://goo.gl/7sU85k
Meeting Nineteen: Content Externalism and Mental Causation Thursday 3 April)
- Kim (2010, Chapter 8, pp. 254–258).
Meeting Twenty: Science and Consciousness (Tuesday 8 April)
- Kim (2010, Chapter 9, pp. 263–266).
- Dennett, Daniel C. 1988. “Quining Qualia”, in Marcel and Bisiach (Ed), Consciousness in Contemporary Science, Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp. 42–77. URI: http://goo.gl/E9FYXq
Meeting Twenty One: What Is It Like to be a Bat? (Thursday 10 April)
- Kim (2010, Chapter 9, pp. 267–270).
- Nagel, Thomas. 1974. “What Is It Like to Be a Bat?”, in The Philosophical Review, Vol. 83, No. 4, October, pp. 435–450. URI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/2183914.
No Class Tuesday Tuesday 15 April
Meeting Twenty Two: Can Science Tell Us What It Is Like to be a Bat? (Thursday 17 April)
- Akins, Kathleen. 1993. “What Is It Like to Be Boring and Myopic?”, in Dahlbom (Ed), Dennett and His Critics: Demystifying Mind, Blackwell, Oxford, pp. 124–160. URI: http://goo.gl/hcXUoc
Meeting Twenty Three: Two Kinds of Consciousness (Tuesday 22 April)
- Kim (2010, Chapter 9, pp. 271-280).
- Block, Ned. 1995. “On a Confusion About a Function of Consciousness”, in Behavioral and Brain Sciences, Vol. 18, No. 2, June, pp. 227–247. URI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0140525X00038188.
Meeting Twenty Four: Representationalism (Thursday 24 April)
- Kim (2010, Chapter 9, pp. 281-295).
- Harman, Gilbert. 1990. “The Intrinsic Quality of Experience”, in Philosophical Perspectives, Vol. 4, pp. 31–52. URI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/2214186.
Meeting Twenty Five: The Knowledge Argument (Tuesday 29 April)
- Kim (2010, Chapter 10).
- Jackson, Frank. 1982. “Epiphenomenal Qualia”, in The Philosophical Quarterly, Vol. 32, No. 127, April, pp. 127–136. URI: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2960077.
Updated: 18 April 2014