10679 Contemporary Philosophy of Mind
Credits: 6 intermediate credits in Philosophy
Author: Amir Horowitz
The course examines contemporary philosophy of mind, with a strong focus on analytical philosophy. Among the questions addressed in the course: What are mental states? What are the relations between mental states and brain states: are these only causal relations or perhaps mental states are nothing but brain states? Can the relationship between mental states and brain states be viewed as analogous to the relationship between computer software and computer hardware? How can we know about the mental states of others? Do I have the same thoughts, with the same contents, as my physical duplicate (an individual physically identical to me) even if we are embedded in completely different environments? Is it possible to understand the phenomenon of consciousness or will it always be a mystery? Different outlooks on these questions and others will be presented and critically analyzed.
Topics: Introduction – the mind and its philosophy, Dualism, Logical behaviorism, The mind and the brain – materialism, Functionalism and the computer model of the mind, The contents of mental states, Consciousness.