Introduction: what is the place of philosophy among the others sciences of the mind; the subject- matter of philosophy of mind; the problem-oriented approach to the study of philosophy of mind;
a brief account of the main themes of this course and the interrelations among them.
The mind-body problem I: historical introduction; general presentation of the main solutions: dualism and monism; versions of philosophical dualism (animism, psychophysical parallelism, interactionism); arguments pro and contra philosophical dualism (Descartes' arguments pro dualism, arguments based on tradition, religion, and common sense; arguments against dualism: dualism violates the law of the conservation of energy, dualism is incoherent with the theory of evolution, the Occam's razor argument, logical arguments); ontological, epistemological, and methodological dualism.
The mind-body problem II: versions of philosophical monism (neutral monism, eliminative materialism, physicalism, identity theories); discussions about epiphenomenalism, supervenience, and mind as an emergent (irreducible) property of the brain; are causal theories of mind entirely monistic?
The problem of the free will: the free will in the context of the controversion determinism/indeterminism; does determinism necessarily entail fatalism; determinism and predictability; are unpredictable events occasional (the case of the theory of chaos); arguments pro and contra human free will (discussion on Freud, existentialism, and neobehaviorism)
Mental causation: do mental states possess causal power; causes and reasons, reasons as causes (discussion on Davidson); causes and conditions.
The problem of intentionality I: historical introduction and definitions; theory of intentionality as an argument in favor of dualism; Brentano's account of intentional inexistence; Chisholm's linguistic criterion of intentionality; objections to Chisholm's criterion; representing intentional states as propositional attitudes; attempts to deny the reality of intentionality: Quine versus Brentano.
The problem of intentionality II: strategies for explanation; the computational theory of mind (J. Fodor); Putnam, Dennett and Churchland against Fodor's theory; Dretchke's information theory approach; Searle's theory of intentionality: intentionality as a biological phenomenon; Dennett's intentional stance approach; a plea for a cognitive ethology: is Dennett's theory compatible with Neisser's and Gibson's ecological approach to cognition?
Qualia: historical introduction: from Lock's secondary qualities to Dennett's "qualia
disqualified"; discussion on five famous thought experiments: inverted qualia, black-and-white-Marry's room, the philosophical zombies, the China-body system, the Inverted Earth; what do these thought experiments prove or disprove?
The representationism - anti-representationism debate: a historical introduction: Lock's classical representationist theory of mind; Brentano's criticism on the representational theories; the knowledge representation hypothesis of contemporary cognitive science and its critics; beyond representationism: the situated cognition approach, the continental philosophy criticism on representationism (Heidegger).
Mind and consciousness I: mind as consciousness (Descartes); the problem of self: does it really exist; the argument of Hume against the existence of self; different notions of self.
Mind and consciousness II: aspects of consciousness, the social construction of selves; theories of personality.
Theories of unconscious mind: arguments supporting the idea that unconscious mental processes do exist; arguments against the notion of unconscious mind; the theories of unconscious mind before and after Freud; the philosophical implications of psychoanalysis.
Mind and language, language and thought I: the intersection between philosophy of mind and philosophy of language; mind and meaning: theories of meaning; Wittgenstein theory; speech act theory (Austin, Searle, and Grice); holistic analysis of meaning (Quine and Davidson).
Mind and language, language and thought II: Buhler - Popper theory of language and its functions (expressive, signaling, descriptive, and argumentative); language as a product of evolution; the evolutionary solution of the problem of meaning.
Mind and intersubjectivity: the problem of other minds: how do we know about them and their contents; methodological solipsism: arguments pro and contra; different notions of intersubjectivity: Husserl and Popper.