PHI6020  Philosophy of Mind

Outline:

This module provides a survey of philosophical theories of the mind. One of the reasons why mental phenomena have been particularly interesting to philosophers is that they seem so unlike anything else there is in the world. Unlike gravity, or oxidation, or cell divison, there is something that it is like to think and perceive, and thoughts and experiences have content or are about things outside of the individual having those thoughts. Are experiences and thoughts simply neurological states and processes? If not, what else could they be? We'll look at a variety of answers to these questions and examine the most important and influential theories in recent philosophy of mind, including logical behaviorism, psychological behaviorism, central-state identity theory, functionalism, and the representational theory of mind.

Preparatory readings

Students who have not taken Mind, Brain, & Personal Identity may find it useful to read Smith & Jones, The Philosophy of Mind: An Introduction, Part I.

This module is also available to undergraduates as PHI202.

If there are three or more postgraduates taking the module, a separate seminar will be scheduled for them.