Philosophy 496, Psychology 475

Past Assignments
29 August
Two assignments!
  1. Send me an email describing (1) your immediate plans after college. Do you intend to seek a job, go to graduate school, travel the world? (2) What would you like to ultimately do in the long term? What career are you aspiring to? My email is "". (If you answer to either or both is, "I don't know," that's fine. I want to know where philosophy or philosophy-psychology might fit into your plans, or how it might help you make plans.)
  2. A reading and some questions. Read Descartes's Meditations 1, 2, and 6. (If you've not read the Meditations, try to take the time to read them all, in order.) The edition we put in the bookstore is good and cheap, but otherwise translations on the web can be found at and
There are three questions for you to answer on Blackboard.
31 August
Answer the questions about Meditation 6 that are on Blackboard.
5 September
Homework and a reading.

Here's the reading:

Read at least the first half of William James's paper (available on JSTOR), up to an including page 194, "What is an Emotion?" (Mind, Vol. 9, No. 34 -- April 1884 -- pages 188-205). . Please read it closely. It's really very straightfoward, I'm pleased to say.

If you are off campus you can access JStor at:

The homework is a few brief questions on Angel.

A Note:

The science journal Nature has a weekly podcast. A few years ago, along with their usual episode, they had a special issue with an interview with a biographer of William James. It's only a few minutes long, and worth a listen for a different view on his biography. I have some doubts about the biographer's assessment of William James's scientific value as a psychologist, but there were things here I didn't know at all about his life that were interesting.

It is here at and also available via iTunes if you search for Nature Podcast and then find the special episode on William James.
7 September
We will continue our discussion of James.

Philosophy club meets at 4:30pm in MCC 211. The meeting will be a showing of the 2017 movie Annihilation.
September 12
Read the handout, which is a passage from The Interpretation of Dreams. Homework: due at the end of next week, try to record a dream that you've had. Keep pen and paper by your bed and attempt first thing in the morning to write down your dream. When you have captured a dream, log into Blackboard and record it there. We might look at some of these dreams later (we will make them anonymous, fear not).

We'll begin class with a discussion of the papers. Please think about what you would like to write your term paper on.

September 14
Read chapters 1 and 2 of Culture and Its Discontents. Answer the questions on Blackboard.