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 A  Philosophy Course 132

Course Details

Philosophy Course 132

Philosophy of Mind

Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, 1-2 pm , Fall Semester 2007, 2040 Valley Life Science


(10 December 2007)

Due to be handed in by 5pm 17 December 2007



9-7-2007 ONWARDS


Final Paper: Questions handed out 19 November 2007

PAPER DUE 3 December 2007

Take Home Exam: Paper handed out in last class 10 December 2007

ANSWERS DUE 17 December 2007


No Class October 26 2007

No Class December 7 2007

Instructor: Mike Martin

Office: Moses 230

Office Hours: Mons 2.30pm-4pm


Office phone: 643-2817

James Genone
Josh Sheptow

From the earliest point in our lives we mark a distinction between the social world of animate beings and the inanimate objects about us. The distinctions we make are fundamental to our ways of finding out about the world and responding to what we discover there. But do the distinctions we mark reflect ultimate differences in the nature of the world around us? These are the questions addressed in this course. We will be looking at some of the oldest and most fundamental questions about the mind: the nature of consciousness, knowledge of our own minds and of others’; physicalism and dualism; functionalism.
The aim of this seminar is to explore these problems. This is a lecture course designed primarily for upper division undergraduate students who have taken at least one course in philosophy. Students in the cognitive sciences (psychology, neuroscience, computer science/robotics, philosophy) are welcome.

Your grade will be based on the following:
Two essays.
Take-home examination. 
Performance in section will not be formally graded but may be taken into account in adjudicating borderline cases.

All students must attend a discussion section. We will pass out section preference cards on the first day class. Section assignments will be emailed to you 2 days later, and section meetings will begin the second week of class. If you are enrolled in the course and do not receive an email about your section assignment, please contact me.

Academic integrity
Plagiarism and cheating will not be tolerated in this course: students caught cheating or plagiarizing will receive an F in the course. Please review university policy at 100.00 POLICY ON STUDENT CONDUCT AND DISCIPLINE.



There is a reader for this course.
In addition, you may find it useful to look at Tim Crane’s Elements of Mind, Oxford as a general introduction to the philosophy of mind.

Many of these readings (but not quite all) are available electronically through JSTOR or other electronic resources. Several of them are in the anthology The Nature of Mind, ed. David Rosenthal, Oxford University Press.

The course falls into a brief introduction and then five sections (schedule is provisional; and timings are very much approximate).


The Problem of Minds
The Qualitative & the Contentful
(2 lectures)

  1. The Traditional Problem of Other Minds

(1 week)
Norman Malcolm, ‘Knowledge of Other Minds’, in Journal of Philosophy, v. LV, 1958 (also reprinted in his Knowledge & Certainty and in Pitcher, ed., Wittgenstein)
Hilary Putnam, ‘Other Minds’, reprinted in his Mind, Language & Reality, Philosophical Papers v 2
Further Reading
A.J. Ayer, ‘The Problem of Other Minds’ in his Philosophical Essays
J.L. Austin, ‘Other Minds’, Aristotelian Society supp vol.20, 1946; reprinted in his Philosophical Papers

  1. Qualitative Aspects of Mind: Bodily Sensations

(3 Weeks)
Jackson, F.  (1977).  Perception, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, Ch. 3. 
Langsam, H.  (1995).  ‘Why Pains are Mental Objects.’ The Journal of Philosophy, 92(6): 303–313.
Anscombe, G.E.M.  (1962).  ‘On sensations of position’, Analysis, 22: 55-8. Reprinted in her (1981) Metaphysics & The Philosophy of Mind: Collected Papers, Vol. 2 Oxford: Blackwell. 
Wittgenstein, L.  (1969).  Blue and Brown Books, 2nd edition, Oxford: Blackwell, 49-55.  (A discussion of the location and ownership of sensations.)
O’Shaughnessy, B.  (1989).  ‘The Sense of Touch’, Australasian Journal of Philosophy.
Pitcher, G.  (1970).  ‘Pain Perception’, Philosophical Review, 79: 368-393. 
Further Reading:
Nikola Grahek, (2007) Feeling Pain & Being in Pain, MIT Press particularly secs. 7 & 8
Murat Aydede, ‘Pain’ entry in Stanford Internet Encyclopaedia of Philosophy
Wall, P. D. (2000). Pain : The Science of Suffering. New York: Columbia University Press.
Dennett, D. C. (1978). Why You Can’t Make a Computer that Feels Pain. Brainstorms Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press

  1. Functionalism, Absent and Inverted Qualia

(3 Weeks)
Lewis, D. (1972) ‘Psychophysical and Theoretical Identification’, Australasian Journal of Philosophy, v 50, 249-58
Shoemaker, S. (1981) ‘Some Varieties of Functionalism’, Philosophical Topics, 12
Block, N. (1978) ‘Troubles with Functionalism’, Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science, v.9 – reprinted in RPP and NM
Shoemaker, S. (1975) ‘Functionalism and Qualia’, Philosophical Studies, 27
Further Reading
Alex Byrne, ‘Spectrum Inversion’, entry in Stanford Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy
Maudlin, T. (1989) ‘Computation and Consciousness’, Journal of Philosophy, v. 86, 407-32
Bealer, G. (1997) ‘Self-Consciousness’, Philosophical Review, 106, 69-117

  1. The Subjective

(3 Weeks)
Nagel, T. (1974) ‘What is it like to be a bat?’, Philosophical Review, 83, 435-50
Strawson, P.F. (1959) Individuals, Ch. 3
Saul Kripke, Wittgenstein on Rules & Private Language, Postscript, ‘Wittgenstein and Other Minds’
Colin McGinn, (1984) ‘What is the Problem of Other Minds?’, Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, Suppl Vol., 58
Further Reading
Ludwig Wittgenstein, Philosophical Investigations, Pt I §§253-352, Pt. II iv
John McDowell, ‘Criteria, Defeasibility & Knowledge’, Proceedings of the British Academy, 1982, reprinted in his Meaning, Knowledge & Reality

  1. Intentionality & Consciousness

(4 Weeks)
Chisholm, R.M.  (1957).  Perceiving: A Philosophical Study, Ch.11, reprinted in The Nature of the Mind, ed. Rosenthal.
Anscombe, G.E.M. (1965) ‘The Intentionality of Sensation’, in Analytic Philosophy, Second Series, ed. Butler; reprinted in Noë and Thompson
Mackie, J.L.  (1985).  ‘Problems of Intentionality’, in his, Logic and Knowledge: Selected Papers, Volume I, pp. 102-116.
O’Shaughnessy, (1985) ‘Consciousness’, Midwest Studies in Philosophy, 10
Eilan, N.  (1998).  ‘Perceptual Intentionality, Consciousness and Attention’, in Current Issues in Philosophy of Mind, ed. A. O’Hear.


 B  Handouts Available for Download

All course handouts are in pdf format




Course Outline:

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©2007 Mike Martin