PHIL 255: Philosophy of Mind

Girl looking through magnifying glass

Course Description

This course is a historical and thematic examination of the philosophy of mind. We will focus on debates about consciousness, intentionality, perception, mental causation, whether mental states are identical with physical states of the brain, and whether or not we could have minds without brains (i.e. artificial intelligence). We will also examine how philosophical studies of the mind are influenced by work done in psychology, neuroscience, computer science, and linguistics. Along the way, we'll make many interesting connections with other areas of philosophy, including metaphysics and epistemology, the philosophy of science, and the philosophy of language.

Course Assessments

Weekly Questions
Short Writing Assignment
Term Essay
Peer Share Workshops (for the writing assignments)
Participation (general class discussion, group work)

Course Readings

Descartes, Meditations II and VI
Putnam, “The Nature of Mental States”
Davidson, “Mental Events”
Jackson, “Epiphenomenal Qualia”
Millikan, “Biosemantics”