Philosophy 290-4

Fall 2021

Number Title Instructor Days/time Room
290-4 Graduate Seminar: Subject, Index, Content: Revisiting Russellian Psychology Martin W 4-6 Moses 305

In the lectures, the Philosophy of Logical Atomism, Russell claims that ‘partiality’ is central to understanding consciousness, and that this raises a fundamental problem for ‘neutral monism’ (a view Russell came shortly to embrace). For Russell once we recognize the fundamental role of acquaintance, we can understand demonstratives, like ‘this’, indexicals like ‘I’, our grasp of the contrast between present, past, and future, and consciousness and subjectivity themselves.

Although Russell’s psychology did not regain popularity after he abandoned it, the connection he drew between acquaintance, perspective, and consciousness remains a persistent theme in contemporary philosophy of mind.

The aim this term is to look at four such contemporary issues deriving from Russell’s concerns. We’ll focus on one piece of reading each week, but I’ll add further reading for each of the issues. Participants are invited to present on one of the core pieces of reading.