JH7 Philosophy of Mind

Charts the attempts in philosophy, psychology and cognitive science since the beginning the of 20th century to develop an alternative conception of the mind to Cartesian Dualism: one that is naturalistic, scientifically tractable and philosophically satisfactory. After a brief introduction to Dualism, discussion proceeds with Behaviourism, early physicalist Identity Theories, forms of Functionalism, and consciousness.  Along the way, such topics are explored as thought, perception, subjectivity, qualia, mental causation, the analogy between mind and computer, and the dependence of mental content on the environment.

blockprint diagram of a woman in an off-the-shoulder draped tunic pointing towards an arrow standing vertical in front of her face; her eyes, nerves and brain are diagramatically displayed with lines of sight between them and the arrow Course lecturer: Prof Jack Lyons
Semester: 2
Lecture hour & venue: see Honours timetable

Preliminary reading: Any of the texts below would provide the prospective student with a good sense of the content of the course.

Key texts:

  • Jaegwon Kim, Philosophy of Mind (2nd edition or 3rd edition)
  • David Braddon-Mitchell & Frank Jackson, The Philosophy of Mind and Cognition (2nd edition)

Teaching resources for this course will be made available on the Philosophy Moodle site.