Philosophy 255

Philosophy of Mind

Winter, 2000


Professor: Paul Thagard

Office hours (HH368): Monday, 1-2; Friday, 12-1; and by appointment.

Email: pthagard@watarts. Phone: extension 3594.

Web page:

Time: TR, 1-2:30, ML 354.

Textbooks: George Graham, Philosophy of Mind, second edition. Jonathan Shear, ed., Explaining Consciousness.

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. Each student is asked to come to class with one question prepared.

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, and the nature of consciousness. No prerequisites.


 Week  Dates  Graham, chapter  Shear, pages
 1  Jan. 4-6  1-2  
 2  Jan. 11-13  3-4  
 3  Jan. 18-20  5-6  
 4  Jan. 25-27  7-8  
 5  Feb. 1-3  8-9  
 6  Feb. 8-10 10-11  
 7  Feb. 15-17  REVIEW, EXAM  
 8  Feb. 29 - Mar. 2    1-44
 9  Mar. 7-9    45-96
 10  Mar. 14-16    237-268
 11  Mar. 21-23    269-304
 12  Mar. 28-30  ESSAY DUE  337-378
 13  Apr. 4   379-422

Useful Web sites

Dictionary of Philosophy of Mind

Various cognitive science resources

Lecture notes

Week 1: Introduction; Death and identity

Week 2: Other minds; Animal beliefs

Week 3: Computer minds; The mind of God

Week 4: Rational action. Mind and brain.

Week 5: Mind and brain; Persons

Week 6, Consciousness

Week 7, Review

Week 8, The hard problem of consciousness

Week 9, Deflating the hard problem

Week 10, Consciousness and brain processes

Week 11, Panpsychism and emergence

Week 12, Damasio and ethical implications

Week 13, Finale and review

Exam review questions and essay topics

Review questions for exam 1

Essay topics

Review questions for exam 2

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.

Back to courses.

This page updated March 29, 2000