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




Current Assignments
I do not accept homeworks by email!

Ontology and the basic ontological positions. (Ontology Boot Camp)

28 January
From Aristotle's De Anima, please look at Book II part 1 (this is very short); an online version is this one at MIT.
30 January
Reading and an assignment.

Review Descartes's Meditations 6. If you somehow lost your personal copy of Meditations, translations on the web can be found at http://www.classicallibrary.org/descartes/meditations/ and http://www.wright.edu/cola/descartes/mede.html and http://oregonstate.edu/instruct/phl302/texts/descartes/meditations/meditations.html.

Homework 1. Bring me to hand in your summary of what you think Descartes's arguments are for believing that the mind is not a material thing. He has several arguments to this effect in Meditation 6, and they largely occur in the last third of that Meditation; try to summarize or describe at least one of them. You can do this in one page or a tiny bit more -- typed please. Please write in complete sentences; think of this as a very short paper.

In class, we want to ask: what changed between Aristotle and Descartes?

2 February
Reading. Please read parts I and II of Churchland's "Eliminative Materialism and the Propositional Attitudes" Paul M. Churchland, The Journal of Philosophy Vol. 78, No. 2 (Feb., 1981), pp. 67-90.

The stable JStor link is here.

There are logical formulas in the paper. They may be written in a way you've never seen, but that's OK. You can skip them and still understand these two sections.

Do read the rest of the paper when you have time.

While reading, ask yourself:
  • What is a propositional attitude?
  • What are propositional attitudes supposed to explain?
  • What is folk psychology, according to Churchland?
  • What are some of the problems with folk psychology, according to Churchland?
  • What does the failure of folk psychology tell us about the things posited in that theory?
I might give you a brief opportunity at the beginning of class to write answers to these questions.




Tentative assignments (these will change substantially)