Philosophy | Intro to Philosophy of Mind
P360 | 14814 | Schmitt


The philosophy of mind concerns the nature of mind and its relation
to the natural world.  We will address core issues concerning the
mind. What is a mental state? How are mental states related to
physiological and bodily states?  We will examine a number of
answers to this question, including various versions of materialism
or physicalism (such as analytical behaviorism, the identity of mind
and body, and functionalism about the mind), the supervenience of
the mind on the material, and dualism. In the course of discussing
these matters, we will consider whether an adequate materialist
account can be given of consciousness, the qualitative character of
states of consciousness, and mental representation. We will address
problems surrounding causal relations between the mental and the
material. We will consider whether folk psychology enters
indispensably into psychological laws or instead scientific
psychology might free itself from reference to beliefs and other
attitudes of folk psychology. We will examine whether psychological
laws must refer to mental representations or instead take a
syntactical form. Is there a language of thought?  Is thought a form
of computation? We will treat theories of the content of thoughtó
teleosemantics and causal theories of content. Time permitting, we
may consider dynamical systems theory as an alternative to
computationalism.