Minds and Machines
Course SummaryThis course is an introduction to many of the central issues in a branch of philosophy called philosophy of mind. Some of the questions we will discuss include the following. Can computers think? Is the mind an immaterial thing? Or is the mind the brain? Or does the mind stand to the brain as a computer program stands to the hardware? How can creatures like ourselves think thoughts that are "about" things? Can I know whether your experiences and my experiences when we look at raspberries, fire trucks and stop lights are the same? Can consciousness be given a scientific explanation?
Reading Material1. Philosophy of Mind: Classical and Contemporary Readings
Chalmers, David, ed. Philosophy of Mind: Classical and Contemporary Readings. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2002. ISBN: 9780195145816.
2. Mind: A Brief Introduction
Searle, John R. Mind: A Brief Introduction. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2005. ISBN: 9780195157345.
(Click the button below to see a preview of the 2004 hardcover edition of the book)
Course Material1. Handout 1: Arguments - The Basics
2. Handout 2: The Chinese Room Argument
3. Handout 3: Properties and Particulars
4. Handout 4: Dualism
5. Handout 5: Possibility and Necessity
6. Handout 6: Behaviorism
7. Handout 7: The Identity Theory
8. Handout 8: Functionalism
9. Handout 9: Externalism and Self-knowledge
10. Handout 10: The Knowledge Argument Against Physicalism
11. Topical review outline
Other Resources1. The Pink Guide to Taking Philosophy Classes
The Pink Guide to Taking Philosophy Classes (MIT Department of Philosophy) - 1.0 MB pdf.