PHL471: Philosophy of Mind
Professor: Craig DeLancey
Past AssignmentsOntology and the basic ontological positions. (Ontology Boot Camp)
28 JanuaryFrom Aristotle's De Anima, please look at Book II part 1 (this is very short); an online version is this one at MIT.30 JanuaryReading 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?
6 FebruaryReading. 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:
I might give you a brief opportunity at the beginning of class to write answers to these questions.
- 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?
9 FebruaryAnswer the question on Angel before class. You can access your Angel account here.11 FebruaryRead sections 1.1 through 1.4 (pages 1-17) of Action in Perception. You might want to read all of the chapter, especially if you are a philosophy major, but that's not required.16 February
Answer the questions on Angel about the reading.Read sections 2.0 to 2.5 of Action in Perception (philosophy majors are encouraged to read the whole chapter). Answer the questions on Angel about the reading.18 FebruaryRead section 3.6 of Noe. Phil majors should read the whole chapter.19 FebruaryJoe asked for another example of the representational theory. One example is Marr and Nishihara's 1978 paper "Representation and Recognition of Spatial Organization of Three-Dimensional Shapes".20 February
Here also are the last slides from class.Homework due. In a few typed pages, do the following.
Find your own example of a sense illusion, or otherwise of an unusual feature of some sense perception. (Stick to illusions that work for statistically normal people; that is, let's not consider phenomena that are results of brain damage, or very unusual phenomena like synthesia.) Describe how the view of senses as passions could possibly explain the phenomenon. Describe how the view of senses given in enactivism could possibly explain the phenomenon. In your judgement, does either theory do a better job? Why?
I used the following grading rubric:
A: 4 -- illusion (this is a freebie)
B: 4 -- writing, grammar
C: 4 -- explanation of the passive view
D: 4 -- explanation of enactivism
E: 4 -- defense of one view
If you can, and if this is relevant, include a picture or link or other kind of documentation that would allow the reader of your brief paper to find and experience the illusion or phenomenon in question.
Due at the beginning of class.
In class, we will also start our discussion of consciousness, in part because we'll discuss this homework on Monday the 23rd, so we'll be using that time to discuss perception and want to get the time back for consciousness.
23 FebruaryReading: Jackson's Epiphenomenal Qualia. Citation: The Philosophical Quarterly, Vol. 32, No. 127. (Apr., 1982), pp. 127-136. The important part is the first 2 sections where he describes his two thought experiments (that is, focus on the introduction and part I). Answer the study questions on Angel.
If you are logging into Jstor from off campus, you'll need to first log into Jstor through our library pages, here. Then you'll need to search for the article by name.
27 FebruaryRead the Chalmers selection: "The Two-Dimensional Argument".
You are only required to read part 1 of the paper.