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




Current Assignments
I do not accept homeworks by email!

27 March
If my heroic efforts allow, we can review the midterm. But if so or if not, we can continue with considering possible answers to Walton and the problem of emoting for fictions.

Also: I'm considering having the following option. You could write a final paper or you could take a final exam (each individual would choose). The final paper would be an expansion of one of our homeworks, or something of your choosing. Aim for 10 pages. The final would be like the midterm. Come to class with an opinion on whether you prefer this or having both.
30 March
Homework due. In a few typed pages, do the following.

Are the apparent-emotions we experience in relation to fictions real emotions? If not, what are they? If so, what theory of emotions best explains both emotions and our other emotions?
1 April
Read paragraphs 1-15 of chapter 27 (XXVII) of Locke's Essay Concerning Human Understanding. Answer the questions on Angel. These questions are:
  1. According to Locke, what makes an oak tree the same oak tree throughout it's life?
  2. What makes a cat the same cat throughout its life?
  3. What makes a person the same person throughout her life?



Tentative assignments (these might change substantially)
3 April
I'll be in New Orleans. We'll have some task that you can do on your own.
6 April
Read paragraphs 16-29 of chapter 27 (XXVII) of Locke's Essay Concerning Human Understanding. Answer the
8 April
Read Nagel's paper, "Brain Bisection and the Unity of Consciousness."
10 April
Homework on personal identity is due.
13 April
I'll be in Virginia. We'll have some task that you can do on your own.
15 April
Quest.
17 April
Before reading, play tetris. There's a free version here and in other places. 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.
20 April
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?
22 April
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"?
24 April
Homework on externalism is due.
27 April
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. Or, here.
4 May
Discussion of this paper by Wegner.
8 May
Homework on free will is due.
15 May
Sorry about the timing! Final exam, in class, 10:30 a.m. -- 12:30 p.m.