Philosophy 3

Summer 2020 Session D

Number Title Instructor Days/time Room
3 The Nature of Mind Benjamin MTuWTh 12-2 20 Wheeler

This course is an introduction to the philosophy of mind. You and I are conscious; we have experiences. In this respect among others we differ from such things as rocks, bicycles, planets, or waterfalls. But in some ways we are not so different from them. We have bodies composed of matter, subject to the laws of physics; the same is true even of our brains.

What explains the fact that some of the things in the world have conscious experiences, while others do not? What is the nature of the mind and the self we often associate with it, and how do these connect up with our scientific picture of the universe? What is it to be conscious, exactly? How and to what extent do the perceptual experiences of a subject put her in touch with a mind-independent world? Drawing primarily — but not exclusively — on readings from the Analytic tradition, we’ll consider these questions and others. In the process, we’ll work on developing philosophical reading and writing skills