|Course Title||Introduction to Philosophy of Mind|
|Institution||Kaliningrad State University|
Description and Aims of the Course
How do we think? What is the mind? What is the relation between the minds and the brains? What is consciousness? How do we know about the other minds? What is personal identity? Would it be possible to design machines simulating the human intelligence or even acting as human beings?
Much of the most innovative work in nowadays philosophy on these exciting issues is being done in the Philosophy of Mind. This field has many important relations with such fields of philosophy as epistemology, metaphysics, logic, ethics, cognitive science etc. as well as with such disciplines as psychology, neuroscience, computing science, theory of information and others. Investigations being performed in such cross-disciplinary fields can be considered as a good example of science collaboration and mutual influences of knowledge areas traditionally thought strictly divided.
The course is designed to acquaint students with the central questions in the philosophy of mind. The main emphasis is supposed to be on the development of the branch in 20th century, in particular in last few decades. A brief inquiry on 17-18th relative philosophical issues is planned as well.
The course is optional and aimed at graduate students of the Department of Philosophy and Logic of Kaliningrad State University as well as at students of other departments who are interested in philosophy, cognitive science, artificial intelligence, interdisciplinary research. The course will be taught in Russian.
As an optional course, it fits into the university curriculum. The scope of the philosophy of mind issues has not yet been presented at the courses taught and thus could be seen as an important extent to existing courses, i.e. Modern Western Philosophy, Philosophy of Science.
Organization, readings and resources
The course is divided into 7 lectures and 6 discussion seminars. During discussions students will have presentations according both to their interest and relative topic. The list of readings is organized to represent the most influent authors on different viewpoints on the main subjects of philosophy of mind. The texts are in English. Students are encouraged to read in English; in the same time the written translations of the key chapters will be made by the lecturer and competent students and handed over to the students well ahead before seminars.
The use of the electronic resources such as Internet and CD-Rom encyclopaedias is seen as an important part of the course. The possibilities of the Multimedia Resource Center for Philosophy Students which is being designed by the Department of Philosophy and Logic, participant of IOS Program aimed on departments support, will make the access to the electronic media possible for the students taking the course on philosophy of mind.
17 - 18th- century philosophy of mind. Views on the mental and the physical
Descartes as a father of the mind-body problem. Cartesian dualism and interactionism.
Parallelism. Lebniz and preestablished harmony. Malebranche as a proponent of occasionalism.
Spinoza: the mental and the physical as modes of a single substance - God.
Idealism. Berkley. Hume's neutral monism.
Problematic points of monistic theories. Materialism of Hobbes.
Ryle's refutation of Cartesianism. Translation of the mental states into the terms of behavior.
Ryle about the 'official doctrine'.
G. Ryle, Descartes' Myth, from The concept of mind, (1949, repr 2000) London pp. 13-24
Reductionism and eliminativism about the mental. Identity of mental and neurophysiological states and events (Feigl, Smart).
Central state materialism (Armstrong). Ontological physicalism. Emergent materialism (Broad). Irreducibility of intentional mental concepts to physical ones (Davidson's anomalous monism)
Contrast between the mental and the physical: physicalism
Donald Davidson "Mental Events" , The Nature of Mind (ed. By D.Rosenthal) Oxford Univ. Press, 1991 pp. 247-257
S.A. Kripke, from Naming and Necessity, The Nature of Mind (ed. By D.Rosenthal) Oxford Univ. Press, 1991 pp. 236-246
R. Penrose, The A,B,C,D of computation and conscious thinking from Shadows of the Mind 1995 Vintage, pp. 12-16
Machine state functionalism (Putnam). Remsy sentence of Lewis. A language of thought in cognitive psychology (Fodor). Connectionism. The problem of consciousness.
R. Penrose, Church-Turing thesis from Shadows of the Mind 1995 Vintage pp. 20-21
H. Putnam, The Nature of Mental States, The Nature of Mind (ed. by D. Rosenthal) Oxford Univ. Press, 1991 pp. 197-204
D. Lewis, Psychophysical and Theoretical Identifications, The Nature of Mind (ed. by D. Rosenthal) Oxford Univ. Press, 1991 pp. 204-211
Particular mental fenomena.
Intentionality (Brentano, Chisholm).
Affective and volitional. Action. Akrasia. Free will problem.
R.M. Chisholm, Intentional Inexistence, The Nature of Mind (ed. by D. Rosenthal) Oxford Univ. Press, 1991 pp. 297-304
G. Ryle, The Will, from The concept of mind, (1949, repr 2000) London pp. 61-74
Consciousness, Self-Knowledge and Problem of other minds
Behaviouristic view (Ryle). J.S. Mill's theory of analogies.Refutation of analogy theory in 1960s based on Wittgenstein's private language argument.
Autopoetic model of cognition by Maurana-Varela. Systems theory applied to cognition.
Self and Others
N. Malcolm, Knowledge of the Other Minds, The Journal of Philosophy LV, 23 (November 6, 1958), pp. 969-78
P.F. Strawson, Persons, Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science, vol. II, Minneapolis, 1958, pp.330-53
F. Capra, The Web of Life, 1997, Flamingo, pp. 189-217, 257-288
Week 7, Week 8Discussion(2 parts):
G. Ryle, Self-Knowledge, from The concept of mind, (1949, repr 2000) London pp. 148-168
T. Nagel, What is Like to Be a Bat?, The Philosophical Review LXXXIII, 4 (October 1974), pp. 435-50
K. R. Popper, Some Remarks on the Self, from K. R. Popper/ J.C. Eccles The Self and Its Brain, Routledge, 1998, chapter P4 pp. 100-144
D.C. Dennett, Consciousness explained, 1991, pp. 21-43, 101-139, 431-457
Beginning of AI. Cybernetics, Wiener's feedback principle. Turing's machine.
Language-oriented and pattern-based (connectionist) approaches. Expert systems. Neural networks. Minsky' s frames theory and knowledge representation.
AI, Information, AI Impact on Society
P. Churchland, Could an Electronic Machine be Conscious? from The engine of reason, the seat of the soul, MIT Press, 1995, pp. 227-244
J.R. Searle, Minds, Brains and Programs, The Nature of Mind (ed. by D. Rosenthal) Oxford Univ. Press, 1991 pp. 509-526
R. Penrose, Shadows of the Mind 1995 Vintage, pp.17-48
F. Capra, The Logic of the Mind from The Web of Life, 1997, Flamingo, pp. 51-74
Recommended readingsK. R. Popper/ J.C. Eccles The Self and Its Brain, Routledge, 1998, chapters P3, P5 , E7 pp. 51-98, 148-205, 355-373
R. Penrose, Shadows of the Mind 1995 Vintage, pp.213-227
D.R. Hofstadter, Goedel, Escher, Bach, chapters X-XII, Penguin Books, 2001, pp.275-405
J.Kim, The Mind-Body-Problem after 50 Years in Current Issues in Philosophy of Mind (ed. A. O'Hear), Cambridge University Press, 1998