The Dennes Room

Philosophy 3

Summer 2019 1st 6wks

Number Title Instructor Days/time Room
3 The Nature of Mind Khatchirian MTuWTh 1-3 174 Barrows

This course is an introduction to the philosophy of mind. We will ask the following questions: what kind of thing is a mind? Is it a non-physical thing, or is it a physical thing with some special properties? If it is a physical thing, what is it? And what’s so special about so-called mental properties? What would it take to create an artificial mind, and is this at all possible?

Throughout the course, we will pay close attention to two key features of minds: the first is consciousness, the second is rationality. What is involved in treating something as conscious, or as having the capacity to think? Do these features make it impossible to explain the mind in scientific terms? If so, why? If not, why not? What are we doing when we explain people’s behavior in terms of their beliefs and desires? How is such explanation different from explanations of the behavior of other animals? How is it different from explanations of the behavior of inanimate objects?