Philosophy 255, Fall, 2005

Philosophy of Mind


The final exam is scheduled for Dec. 21, 9-11:30, AL 105.

Essay topics are now available. Essays are due Dec. 1.


Professor: Paul Thagard

Office hours (HH368): Monday, 1-2; Friday, 1:30-2:30; and by appointment.

Email: Phone: extension 3594.

Web page:

Time: Tuesdays, 10:00-11:20, HH 334; Thursdays, 10:00-11:20, HH 373.

Textbooks: George Graham, Philosophy of Mind, second edition. Patricia Smith Churchland, Brain-Wise: Studies in Neurophilosophy.

Assignments: Marks will be based on:

There will be extensive discussion as well as lectures. Students should do the assigned readings before the relevant class.

Description: This course is concerned with fundamental questions concerning the nature of mind, including life after death, the existence of other minds, the relation of mind and brain, the self, consciousness, and free will. No prerequisites.


 Week  Dates  Graham, chapter  Churchland, ch..
 1 Sept. 13-15  1-2  
 2 Sept. 20-22  3-4  
 3 Sept. 27-29  5-6  
 4 Oct. 4-6  7-8  
 5 Oct. 11-13  8-9  
 6 Oct. 18-20 10-11  
 7 Oct. 25-27 REVIEW, EXAM  
 8 Nov. 1-3   1-2
 9 Nov. 8-10   3
 10 Nov. 15-17   4
 11 Nov. 22-24   5
 12 Nov. 29-Dec. 1  ESSAY DUE 6-7

Note: This course counts toward the Cognitive Science Option. See

Useful Web sites

Dictionary of Philosophy of Mind

Bibliography of Philosophy of Mind

Cognitive science resources

Consciousness video

Lecture notes

These notes will be updated, usually on Mondays, as indicated by "2005".

Week 1: Introduction; Death and identity. 2005

Week 2: Other minds; Animal beliefs. 2005

Week 3: Computer minds; The mind of God. 2005

Week 4: Rational action. Mind and brain. 2005

Week 5: Mind and brain; Persons. 2005

Week 6, Consciousness, 2005

Week 7, Review and exam questions, 2005

Week 8. Churchland on metaphysics. 2005.

Week 9. The Self and Emotions. 2005.

Week 10. Consciousness. 2005.

Week 11. Free will. 2005.

Week 12. Representation. EXAM REVIEW QUESTIONS. 2005.

Essay topics

From the Faculty of Arts:

All students registered in the courses of the Faculty of Arts are expected to know what constitutes an academic offense, to avoid committing academic offenses, and to take responsibility for their academic actions.  When the commission of an offense is established, disciplinary penalties will be imposed in accord with Policy #71 (Student Academic Discipline).  For information on categories of offenses and types of penalties, students are directed to consult the summary of Policy #71 (Student Academic Discipline) which is supplied in the Undergraduate Calendar (p.1:11).  If you need help in learning how to avoid offenses such as plagiarism, cheating, and double submission, or if you need clarification of aspects of the discipline policy, ask your course instructor for guidance.  Other resources regarding the discipline policy are your academic advisor and the Undergraduate Associate Dean.

Computational Epistemology Laboratory.

Paul Thagard

This page updated Nov. 28, 2005.