The basics of argumentation
Some central arguments for and against the view that a sufficiently powerful computer can think (AI)
The main theories of mental states and their relations to physical states
Some central arguments for and against the view that the world is not as we perceive it to be
What the "hard problem of consciousness" is
What is the relationship between the mind and the body? Can computers think? Do we perceive reality as it is? Can there be a science of consciousness?
This course explores these questions and others. It is a thorough, rigorous introduction to contemporary philosophy of mind.
According to many scientists and philosophers, explaining the nature of consciousness is the deepest intellectual challenge of all. If you find consciousness at all puzzling, this is a great place to start learning more.
Overview. This class is an introduction to philosophy of mind. Here are some of the questions we’llbe thinking about:
Are you an “immaterial soul”, distinct from your brain and body?
Alternatively, are you simply a material or physical animal, living in an entirely physical world?
If we (somehow) made a brain that was a perfect molecule-for-molecule replica of your brain,and (somehow) kept it alive in a tank, would the tank-creature have the same mental life as you?
Do we see ordinary physical objects like lemons and iPhones? And assuming that we do see them at all, do we see them as they really are?
Can consciousness be given a scientific explanation?
Schedule.Part 1 – Minds and ComputersLecture 1: IntroductionLecture 2: The Chinese RoomLecture 3: The Chinese Room, Continued; ArgumentsLecture 4: The Chinese Room, ContinuedLecture 5: Turing Machines and the Turing TestLecture 6: The Turing TestAssessment 1: First Argument Analysis (10%)Part 2 – From Dualism to FunctionalismLecture 7: DualismLecture 8: Dualism, ContinuedLecture 9: BehaviorismLecture 10: The Identity TheoryLecture 11: The Identity Theory, ContinuedLecture 12: Kripke’s ObjectionLecture 13: FunctionalismLecture 14: Functionalism, ContinuedAssessment 2: Midterm Exam (30%)Part 3 – Minds and BrainsLecture 15: KnowledgeLecture 16: BeliefLecture 17: Belief, ContinuedPart 4 – PerceptionLecture 18: PerceptionLecture 19: The Argument from Illusion, and Color PerceptionLecture 20: ColorAssessment 3: Second Argument Analysis (10%)Part 5 – ConsciousnessLecture 21: Color, Continued; Nagel on BatsLecture 22: Nagel on Bats, Continued; the Knowledge ArgumentLecture 23: The Knowledge Argument, Continued; Chalmers’ DualismLecture 24: Chalmers’ Dualism, Continued; Tye on TransparencyLecture 25: Consciousness Wrap-UpAssessment 4: Final Exam (50%)