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Unformatted text preview: Phil 1301
Mind, World, and Knowledge
1 Semester 1, 2006 Tuesdays 2:355:25
Minto 5050 Eros Corazza
www.carleton.ca/~ecorazza Office h.
Mondays 2:353:30 or by appoint. 2 Requirements It is mandatory to have a Carleton student “connect” account and to register on WebCT.
One short essay and a final (2 h.) exam
Short Essay (1500 words maximum)
Final exam (answer 2 questions out of 5 or 6)
3 Required Reading Chomsky, N. 1966, Cartesian Linguistics: A Chapter in the History of Rationalist Thought, Harper & Row, New York.
Descartes, R. 1641, Meditations
In: Descartes, R., 1984, The Philosophical Writing Vol. II, Cambridge UP, Cambridge
Other editions available (also on the net).
4 Descartes’ Meditations (with Critics and Replies) + Discourse free at:
Leibniz’s Nouveau Essays free at:
5 Essay 1500 words maximum 1. Why, according to Descartes, the idea of God is innate? 2. What is the importance of God in Descartes’ philosophy? 3. “I cannot share the opinion of Montaigne and others who attribute understanding or thought to animals” (Letters to the Marquis of New Castle 23 Nov. 1646; CSMK III: 302). Discuss.
6 Exam A 2 h. exam worth 70% of final grade (the 1500 words essay is worth 30%). You’ll be asked to answer 2 questions out of 5. 7 Topics to be discussed What’s the mind?
Does the mind reduce to the brain?; Do we have a privileged access to our own mind?, … What’s the world?
Ontology/metaphysics answer questions such as: what there is?; How do we know/understand the mind?
Epistemology answers questions pertaining to knowledge.
8 Tree main approaches Empiricism
Experience is central. We gain knowledge via the senses, …
Reason is central. Knowledge is gained via the reason, …
Focus on the way we act/behave, …
9 Tree psychologies Empiricism and rationalism focus on notion such as representations and how we acquire and manipulate them, … Pragmatism has other priorities. It focuses on another set of questions pertaining to the way we act, we acquire habits, … 10 Language It is central in our understanding of:
The relation between the mind and the world.
How we cognize the external world and how we understand each others.
How our mind is organized.
How we differentiate from other species
… 11 What’s language? What is it?
Where does it comes from?
How it developed?
How it is learned?
… 12 The Rationalist Program We’ll focus on the rationalists answer to some of these questions. We’ll look at some of the work of the founders of rationalism, mainly Descartes (but we’ll also mention Leibnitz, Arnauld, …) We’ll then concentrate on some recent development, mainly Chomsky’s program. 13 ...
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This document was uploaded on 10/26/2011 for the course PHIL 1301 at Carleton CA.
- Fall '07