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Unformatted text preview: Philosophy of Mind PHI/SPM 250 Bennett Helm LSP163 291&4392 firstname.lastname@example.org Oce Hours Tue: 8:3010:00, Wed: 11:0012:30, Fri: 8:3010:00, and by appointment 1 Overview This class is designed as a general introduction to the philosophy of mind (and,consequently,as an introduction to the philosophical side of the Scientic and Philosophical Studies of Mind major). Most fundamentally, we will examine the mind&body problem, a problem which arises out of our diering conceptions of the natural world and of our minds. Thus, the body, science tells us, is just a hunk of physical matter that obeys the laws of nature mechanisticallymindlessly. The mind, of course, is anything but mindless. So whats the connection between the two?How do we conceive ofthe mindin relation to the body? We willcriticallyexamine severaldierentpurported solutions to this problem: dualism, identity theory, functionalism, eliminative materialism, and intentional systems theory. We shall then apply these theories to help us address three other questions that have been raised about minds: Is it possible to build an intelligent machine? Is free will compatible with determinism or mechanism? Can life be meaningful, and if so what is the source of that meaning? In addressing these questions, we shall gain a clearer understanding of the strengths, weaknesses, and implications of the various theories about what the mind is and its relation to the body. 2 Required Text There are no required texts for this course. Instead, reading assignments are available on my e&disk: http://edisk.fandm.edu/bennett.helm/PHI250/ , or from J&Stor. In every case, you should make sure you have a copy of the reading assignment with you in class so that we can refer to particular passages during our discussions. Print out .PDF les and take notes on your copies. Note that I have placed an electronic copy of this syllabus on e&disk as well. The e&copy has hot links, which will take you directly to my e&disk as well as to J&Stor articles (and other outside sources). Note on Copyright Restrictions All .PDF les I am making available for this course are used in accordance with 110 of the Copyright Act of 1976. This permits the use of copyrighted work in the course of face&to&face teaching activities; this requires that access to copies of these works is provided only to members of the class and that the copies are to be used only in the context of this class. You are therefore not permitted to use these copies in contexts outside of this class. (If you have further questions about the use of copyrighted work, please come see me.) 1 3 COURSE REQUIREMENTS 2 3 Course Requirements My aim in this class is to get you thinking intensively about a variety of issues in philosophy of mind, for philosophy is best learned by actually doing it. Consequently, we will have frequent class dicussions, a research paper, and two exams....
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