|Nature of Mind
This course is an introduction to philosophical problems about the mind. In the first three weeks, we will focus on the relationship between the mind and the physical world. We will pursue the following questions:
What is a mind? What are mental states such as beliefs, desires, feelings and experiences? Are they states of the brain? Are they a matter of how one behaves? Could a computer have a mind?
In the second three weeks, we will look in detail at some more specific issues raised by our discussion of the questions above:
What is the connection between consciousness and the capacity to represent the world around us (to have mental states which are /about /the world)? Are mental states in the head? In what ways do they depend on the world around us? How do we know about other people?s minds?
We will read work by philosophers including Hilary Putnam, John Searle and Thomas Nagel. Students taking the course will be expected to read this work closely and carefully. They will also be required to write two papers and sit a final exam.