Philosophy 3

Summer 2023 Session A

Number Title Instructor Days/time Room
3 The Nature of Mind Lane MTuWTh 10-12 Wheeler 204

Human beings have minds, and probably so do many non-human animals. But things like rocks and rugs do not. Why are minds distributed throughout the world in this way? The course will explore different answers to this question. In the first block, we will ask whether the mind is its own substance, distinct from the physical world; and we will subsequently consider what kinds of configurations of physical substance might be correctly identified with the mind. In particular, we will ask whether the mind is most plausibly identified with physical, behavioral, or functional states. In the second block, we will first focus on questions of personal identity and its relation to the mind. Are you (just) your mind? Could your mind be uploaded to a virtual platform or would the upload not really be you? Then we will discuss whether and how far the mind extends beyond the body—does it extend, e.g., to your smartphone?—and the ethics and metaphysics of neuroenhancement. The final topic will be animal minds, and discussion will center around animal consciousness and self-awareness