Phil/Psych 447

Office hours (HH368): M 1:00-2:00; F 12:30-1:30, and by appointment.

Seminar in Cognitive Science

Week 3: Minds and Brains

Positions in philosophy of mind




Identity theory


Anomalous Monism

Inference to the best explanation

Used legitimately?

What is to be explained?

What mind-brain identity explains.

Mechanisms and emergent properties.

Evidence for dualism

Parapsychology, survival, consciousness, etc.

Philosophical arguments

Discussion Questions

  1. Why do so many people resist the brain revolution?
  2. Is inference to the best explanation the right way to reason about the mind?
  3. Has neuropsychology actually managed to explain much about the mind?
  4. Is the mind-body identity theory explanatory? What are its main successes and failures?
  5. What is the best evidence for dualism?
  6. Can thought experiments refute the identy theory?
  7. Are there better materialist alternatives to the identity theory, e.g.functionalism or eliminative materialism?

Phil/Psych 447

Computational Epistemology Laboratory.

Paul Thagard

This page updated Sept.22, 2008