PHL471: Philosophy of Mind
Professor: Craig DeLancey
Office: CC212A
Email: craig.delancey@oswego.edu




Current Assignments
I do not accept homeworks by email!

4. Personal identity (over time, at a moment)
14 April
Read Nagel's paper, "Brain Bisection and the Unity of Consciousness," which is collected in John Perry's Personal Identity.

5. Free will
16, 21 April
We'll review self-identity, and then review the basics of the free will problem.

Read: Read "Unconscious determinants of free decisions in the human brain," Chun Siong Soon; Brass,Marcel; Heinze, Hans-Jochen; Haynes, John-Dylan. Nature Neuroscience, May2008, Vol. 11 Issue 5, p543-545. DOI: 10.1038/nn.2112

This is available to us through the Academic Search Complete service on the Penfield web site, but I've not figured out how to link to it yet. So, go here, click on the "Academic Search Complete" link, and search for the title above.

23, 25 April
I'll be in Tucson. We'll have some class exercises.





Tentative assignments (these will change substantially)
5. Free will
28 April
Selections from Wagner.

30 April
Last thoughts on free will.


6. Externalism
2 May
Before reading, play tetris. There's a free version here. After playing a while, notice how you move the figures in order to determine if they are going to fit.

Read Clark and Chalmers on externalism. Read "The Extended Mind".

While reading, ask yourself:
  • What is "active externalism"?
  • What thought experiments do they offer to illustrate this? There is one for activity (tetris), and one for belief (Otto). Can you describe what they are meant to show?
  • What are the four criteria they offer for extended belief?
  • What necessary criteria of externalism do they propose?
The stuff about semantic externalism (where they mention Putnum, Burge, water, twin Earth, and xyz) is probably confusing to you. Don't worry about it. Putnum and Burge have a theory that the meaning of words can be outside the head. This is a different theory than Clark and Chalmers are proposing (C&C are arguing instead that thinking and beliefs can be outside the head); for this reason, C&C spend some of the paper explaining how their view is different than the semantic externalism.

5 May
Criticisms of Clark and Chalmers on externalism: read Adams and Aizawa, parts 1 and 2. While reading, ask yourself:
  • What is their task in this paper?
  • What are their two "marks of the cognitive"?
  • What is non-derived content?
7 May
Criticisms of Clark and Chalmers on externalism: read Adams and Aizawa, parts 3, 4, and 5. While reading, ask yourself:
  • What are their primary criticisms of Clark and Chalmers? What do they claim the Tetris case 2, and Otto's notebook, lack?
  • What do they mean by "intercranial" and "transcranial"?

9 May
Short quiz on externalism.

Papers will be due during the scheduled final exam time.