Philosophy of Mind: Consciousness (0122-362-01)
Class: T/Th, 9:45-11:00am, LM 268
Office: Campion D6 (right by the Philosophy Department)
Office Hours: Thurs, 1:30-3p and by arrangement
Office Phone: 422-6424 (422-6543 for the department)
The class is finished. Thanks for a great class, and have a good
summer. If you would like to meet with me during the finals week
(Mon 5/13-16) for your final paper, send me a message, or, there is a sign-up
sheet on my office door (for another class) and you can just sign in.
Toward a Science of Consciousness Conference in Arizona:
One of the most challenging, exciting, and rapidly developing field today
is the discipline of “consciousness studies.” This is largely an
interdisciplinary field, involving science, medicine, psychology, and philosophy.
In this course, we will examine philosophy’s contribution to this field,
by a critical analysis on the philosophical meaning of “consciousness.”
The course will focus on both historical and contemporary literature on
consciousness, from the classical mind-body dualism to its contemporary
manifestations, to the recent debates concerning the “hard problem”
of consciousness, the “first-person perspective” on consciousness, to the
various reductionist theories, classical phenomenology, and the newly emerging
field of “neurophenomenology.”
The students who complete the course will be able to distinguish various
contemporary theories of consciousness (in what way do they conflict, are
similar, etc) and identify some of the key issues in the debates.
1. The Nature of Consciousness: Philosophical Debates. Ned
Block, Owen Flannagan, and Guven Guzeldere, eds. MIT Press.
2. Introduction to Phenomenology. Robert Sokolowski.
Cambridge University Press. 2000.
1. Mid-semester Paper (4-5pages, 25%): A list of possible topics
will be handed out by Week 6.
2. Final Paper (8-10 pages, 30%): A list of possible topics
will be handed out by Week 14.
3. Research Paper (8-10 pages, 30%): To do this paper,
you will “focus” on a particular section from the book and go into a bit
more depth, by analyzing several articles.
4. Participation and Discussion (15%)
Week 1 (Jan 22, 24) Overview. What just IS consciousness? What are
the debates? The mind-body problem revisited.
Week 2 (Jan 29, 31) Intro: Guzeldere, The Many Faces of Consciousness,
Week 3 (Feb 5, 7) Above continued; Phenomenology--Sokolowski, 1-21
Week 4 (Feb 12, 14) Selection 1. James, pp 71-82; 3. Flanagan, pp 89-93
Week 5 (Feb 19,21) 4. Flanagan, pp 97-110; 6. Churchland, pp
Week 6 (Feb 26, 28) 10. Baars, pp 187-202; 14. Crick and Koch, pp 277-292
Week 7 (Mar 5, 7) 20. Block, pp. 375-416
Week 8: (Mar 12, 14) 27. Searle, pp 451-460; 30 Searle, pp 493-502
Mid-Semester Paper Due
Week 9 (Mar 19, 21) 32. Nagel, pp 519-528; 34 Levine pp 543-555
Week 10: Spring Break
Week 11 (April 2, 4) Speaker Dan Zahavi on April 2; Chalmers handout
Week 12 (April 9, 11) Phenomenology—Sokolowski 22-65
Week 13 (Apr 16, 18) Phenomenology—Sokolowski 112-129, 146-155
Week 14 (Apr 23, 25) Neurophenomenology--handout
Week 15 (Apr 30, May 2) Neurophenomenology continued Research
Week 16 (May 7): Summary
Final paper is due on Thursday, May 16, 4pm.
Policy on Attendance, Turning in your papers, etc.:
You are expected to attend every class, as participation is weighed heavily.
I will accept VALID excuses (medical emergency, or other events which are
totally beyond your control). It is your responsibility to contact
me if you must miss class.
Please note that “turning in the paper” means that I receive it; it
does NOT mean that you dropped it off. When in doubt, you must make
sure with me that I actually have your material. Please be sure to
keep a copy of your paper.
If you must drop the course, it is your responsibility to take care
of the paperwork and to contact me. If you stop coming and your name
appears on the roster at the end of the course, you will receive an F (not
my choice, but if your name appears on the final grading sheet, I have
to assign a grade). An “I” grade can be given only for a missed FINAL.
It must be arranged with me beforehand.
Feel free to talk to me about any concerns you may have about the course.
I am always interested in what you have to say.
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