Philosophy of Mind
A depiction of the “interior powers” of the mind: “common sense, imaginings, judging, and remembering”, circa 1330. From Cambridge University Library MS Gg. 1.1, Folio 490v. For discussion, see Mary J. Carruthers, “Two Unusual Mind Diagrams in a Late Fifteenth-Century Manuscript”, Manuscript Studies, Vol. 4, No. 2, Fall 2019, pp. 389-400. URI: https://doi.org/10.1353/mns.2019.0017
|PHIL-SHU 80||1555 Century Avenue, Room 604||Mondays and Wednesdays, 9:45am to 11:00am|
|Brad Weslakeemail@example.com||1555 Century Avenue, Room 961||By appointment|
This class is an introduction to philosophy of mind. No prior philosophy, psychology or neuroscience will be assumed.
- Two exams.
- Two 6–8 page papers.
- Attendance and participation.
The final grade will be determined approximately as follows:
|Attendance and participation:||10%|
|First Exam:||Saturday 8 October|
|First Paper:||Sunday 6 November|
|Second Exam:||Monday 21 November|
|Second Paper:||Wednesday 14 December|
Attendance and Lateness
Students are required to attend all classes on time. An explanation for every absence or late attendance must be submitted in writing to the instructor. Every failure to attend class on time will count against the component of the final grade awarded for attendance and participation, unless an explanation is received and approved at least one day prior to the class in question. Requests for exceptions will be considered on a case by case basis, and typically granted only when related to an illness or other unforeseeable change in life circumstance.
It is a condition on passing this course that students read and adhere to the NYU Shanghai policy on academic integrity as described in the current NYU Shanghai Academic Bulletin.
All notes, readings and assignments can be found here.
The following books have been placed on reserve in the library:
- Kim, Jaegwon. 2010. Philosophy of Mind, Westview Press, Boulder CO.
- Chalmers, David J. 2002. Philosophy of Mind: Classical and Contemporary Readings, Oxford University Press, Oxford.
Meeting 1: Introductory Discussion (Wednesday 14 September)
Meeting 2: The Mark of the Mental (Saturday 17 September)
- Bayne, Tim. 2021. Philosophy of Mind: An Introduction, Routledge, New York. URI: https://doi.org/10.4324/9781003225348, Chapter 1, pp. 6–23.
- 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: https://doi.org/10.1017/S1358246100004380.
- Strawson, Galen. 2010. Mental Reality, MIT Press, Cambridge MA. URI: https://doi.org/10.7551/mitpress/9780262513104.001.0001, Chapter 6, pp. 145–176.
Meeting 3: Dualism: Epistemological Arguments (Monday 19 September)
- Descartes, René. 1984. The Philosophical Writings of Descartes, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, Vol. 2, Meditations II and VI, pp. 16–23, 50–62.
- Braddon-Mitchell, David and Jackson, Frank. 2007. The Philosophy of Mind and Cognition: An Introduction, Blackwell, Oxford, pp. 5–8.
- Wilson, Margaret D. 1976. “Descartes: The Epistemological Argument for Mind-Body Distinctness”, in Noûs, Vol. 10, No. 1, March, pp. 3–15. URI: http://doi.org/10.2307/2214469.
Meeting 4: Dualism: The Problem of Interaction (Wednesday 21 September)
- Descartes, René. 1985. The Philosophical Writings of Descartes, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, Vol. 1, The Passions of The Soul, §§30-34, pp. 339–341.
- Shapiro, Lisa. 2007. The Correspondence between Princess Elisabeth of Bohemia and René Descartes, University of Chicago Press, Chicago. URI: https://doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226204444.001.0001, pp. 61-73.
- Garber, Daniel. 1983. “Understanding Interaction: What Descartes Should Have Told Elisabeth”, in Southern Journal of Philosophy, Vol. 21, No. S1, pp. 15–32. URI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.2041-6962.1983.tb01534.x.
Meeting 5: Dualism: The Pairing Problem (Monday 26 September)
- Kim, Jaegwon. 2001. “Lonely Souls: Causality and Substance Dualism”, in Corcoran (Ed), Soul, Body, and Survival, Cornell University Press, Ithaca, pp. 30–43.
- Strawson, Peter.  2008. “Self, Mind and Body”, in Freedom and Resentment and Other Essays, Routledge, London, pp. 186–195.
Meeting 6: Review (Wednesday 28 September)
National Day Holiday: Fall Break
Meeting 7: First Exam (Saturday 8 October)
Meeting 8: Behaviour and Knowledge of Minds (Monday 10 October)
- Ryle, Gilbert. 1949. The Concept of Mind, Hutchinson, London, Chapter 1, pp. 1–13.
- Paul, Sarah K. 2018. “John Doe and Richard Roe”, in Rosen, Byrne, Cohen, Harman and Shiffrin (Ed), The Norton Introduction to Philosophy, W. W. Norton, New York, pp. 241–248.
- Tanney, Julia. 2009. “Rethinking Ryle: A Critical Discussion of The Concept of Mind”, in The Concept of Mind, Hutchinson, London, pp. ix-lvii.
Meeting 9: Behaviourism (Wednesday 12 October)
- Kim, Jaegwon. 2010. Philosophy of Mind, Westview Press, Boulder CO, Chapter 3, pp. 61–90.
- Crawford, Sean. 2013. “The Myth of Logical Behaviourism and the Origins of the Identity Theory”, in Beaney (Ed), The Oxford Handbook of The History of Analytic Philosophy, Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp. 621–655.
Meeting 10: The Identity Theory (Monday 17 October)
- Place, Ullin T. 1956. “Is Consciousness a Brain Process?”, in British Journal of Psychology, Vol. 47, No. 1, February, pp. 44–50. URI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.2044-8295.1956.tb00560.x.
- 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 11: Common Sense Functionalism (Wednesday 19 October)
- 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.
- Lewis, David. 1972. “Psychophysical and Theoretical Identifications”, in Australasian Journal of Philosophy, Vol. 50, No. 3, December, pp. 249–258. URI: http://doi.org/10.1080/00048407212341301.
Meeting 12: Multiple Realisation (Saturday 22 October)
- 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” in Timothy O'Connor and David Robb, Philosophy of Mind: Contemporary Readings, Routledge, London, pp. 210–221.
- Lewis, David.  1980. “Review of Putnam”, in Block (Ed), Readings in Philosophy of Psychology, Harvard University Press, Cambridge MA, Vol. 1, pp. 232–233.
- Polger, Thomas W. 2009. “Evaluating the Evidence for Multiple Realization”, in Synthese, Vol. 167, No. 3, April, pp. 457–472. URI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11229-008-9386-7.
Meeting 13: Machine Functionalism (Monday 24 October)
- Fodor, Jerry A. 1981. “The Mind-Body Problem”, in Scientific American, Vol. 244, No. 1, January, pp. 114–123.
Meeting 14: Objections to Functionalism (Wednesday 26 October)
- Block, Ned. 1978. “Troubles with Functionalism”, in Savage (Ed), Perception and Cognition: Issues in the Foundations of Psychology, University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, Vol. 9, pp. 261–326. Revised version published in Brian Beakley and Peter Ludlow, The Philosophy of Mind: Classical Problems/Contemporary Issues, MIT Press, Cambridge MA, 2nd Ed, 2006, pp. 107–131.
Meeting 15: Functionalism and Consciousness I (Monday 31 October)
- Chalmers, David J. 1995. “Absent Qualia, Fading Qualia, Dancing Qualia”, in Metzinger (Ed), Conscious Experience, Imprint Academic, Schöningh, pp. 309–328.
Meeting 16: Functionalism and Consciousness II (Wednesday 2 November)
- Godfrey-Smith, Peter. 2016. “Mind, Matter, and Metabolism”, in The Journal of Philosophy, Vol. 113, No. 10, October, pp. 481–506. URI: http://doi.org/10.5840/jphil20161131034.
- Godfrey-Smith, Peter. 2016. “Animal Evolution and the Origins of Experience”, in Smith (Ed), How Biology Shapes Philosophy: New Foundations for Naturalism, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp. 51–71. URI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781107295490.004.
Meeting 17: Emotion: Feeling Theories (Monday 7 November)
- James, William. 1884. “What is an Emotion?”, in Mind, Vol. 9, No. 34, April, pp. 188–205. URI: https://doi.org/10.1093/mind/os-IX.34.188.
- Dixon, Thomas. 2012. ““Emotion”: The History of a Keyword in Crisis”, in Emotion Review, Vol. 4, No. 4, October, pp. 338–344. URI: https://doi.org/10.1177/1754073912445814.
- Cannon, Walter B. 1929. “A Critical Examination of the James-Lange Theory of Emotions”, in Bodily Changes in Pain, Hunger, Fear and Rage: An Account of Recent Researches into the Function of Emotional Excitement, D. Appleton and Company, New York, pp. 346–359.
Meeting 18: Emotion: Evaluative Theories (Wednesday 9 November)
- Nussbaum, Martha C. 1997. “Emotions as Judgments of Value and Importance”, in Bilimoria and Mohanty (Ed), Relativism, Suffering and Beyond: Essays in Memory of Bimal K. Matilal, Oxford University Press, New Delhi, pp. 231–251. Reprinted in Robert C. Solomon, Thinking about Feeling: Contemporary Philosophers on Emotions, Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp. 183–199.
- Scarantino, Andrea. 2010. “Insights and Blindspots of the Cognitivist Theory of Emotions”, in The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, Vol. 61, No. 4, December, pp. 729–768. URI: https://doi.org/10.1093/bjps/axq011.
Meeting 19: Emotion: Motivational Theories (Monday 14 November)
- Scarantino, Andrea. 2014. “The Motivational Theory of Emotions”, in D’Arms and Jacobson (Ed), Moral Psychology and Human Agency: Philosophical Essays on the Science of Ethics, Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp. 156–185. URI: https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198717812.003.0008.
- Tappolet, Christine. 2009. “Emotion, Motivation, and Action: The Case of Fear”, in Goldie (Ed), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Emotion, Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp. 325–345. URI: https://doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199235018.003.0015.
Meeting 20: Emotion: Natural Kinds (Wednesday 16 November)
- Griffiths, Paul E. 2004. “Is Emotion a Natural Kind?”, in Solomon (Ed), Thinking about Feeling: Contemporary Philosophers on Emotions, Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp. 233–249.
- Taylor, Henry. 2020. “Emotions, Concepts and the Indeterminacy of Natural Kinds”, in Synthese, Vol. 197, No. 5, May, pp. 2073–2093. URI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11229-018-1783-y.
Meeting 21: Second Exam (Monday 21 November)
Meeting 22: Buddhist Philosophy of Mind: Suffering (Wednesday 23 November)
- Carpenter, Amber D. 2014. Indian Buddhist Philosophy: Metaphysics as Ethics, Routledge, London, Chapter 1: The Buddha's Suffering, pp. 1–19.
- Ñāṇamoli, Bhikkhu and Bodhi, Bhikkhu. 1995. The Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha: A Translation of the Majjhima Nikāya, Wisdom Publications, Somerville MA, Sammādiṭṭhi Sutta, pp. 132-144.
Meeting 23: No Class (Monday 28 November)
Meeting 24: Buddhist Philosophy of Mind: The Self I (Wednesday 30 November)
- Carpenter, Amber D. 2014. Indian Buddhist Philosophy: Metaphysics as Ethics, Routledge, London, Chapter 2: Practice and Theory of No-Self, pp. 20–47.
- Ñāṇamoli, Bhikkhu and Bodhi, Bhikkhu. 1995. The Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha: A Translation of the Majjhima Nikāya, Wisdom Publications, Somerville MA, Alagaddūpama Sutta, pp. 225-236.
- Bodhi, Bhikkhu. 2000. The Connected Discourses of the Buddha: A Translation of the Saṃyutta Nikāya, Wisdom Publications, Somerville MA, Bhikkhunīsaṁyutta, pp. 221-230.
- Horner, I. B. 1969. Milinda’s Questions, Luzac, London, Vol. 1, Milinda’s Questions II: The Distinguishing Marks, pp. 34-89.
Meeting 25: Buddhist Philosophy of Mind: The Self II (Monday 5 December)
- Carpenter, Amber D. 2014. Indian Buddhist Philosophy: Metaphysics as Ethics, Routledge, London, Chapter 6: Irresponsible Selves, Responsible Non-Selves, pp. 117–136.
- Kapstein, Matthew. 2001. Reason’s Traces: Identity and Interpretation in Indian and Tibetan Buddhist Thought, Wisdom Publications, Boston, Vasubandhu and the Nyāya Philosophers on Personal Identity, pp. 347-391.
Meeting 26: Buddhist Philosophy of Mind: The Self III (Wednesday 7 December)
- Ganeri, Jonardon. 2000. “Cross-Modality and the Self”, in Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, Vol. 61, No. 3, November, pp. 639–657.
Meeting 27: Buddhist Philosophy of Mind: Self and Time (Monday 12 December)
- Velleman, J. David. 2006. “So It Goes”, in The Amherst Lecture in Philosophy, Vol. 1, pp. 1–23.
Meeting 28: Final Discussion (Wednesday 14 December)
Updated: 5 December 2022