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Instructor Class Description

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William F. Harms
PHIL 363
Seattle Campus

Introduction to the Philosophy of Mind

Various theories of the nature of mind, the relationship between mind and body, the self, introspection, and knowledge of other minds.

Class description

Could a computer really ever think at all, and if it did, is there any chance that it could be you? Contemporary fiction abounds with futures that involve artificial intelligence and conscious human existence within virtual realities. But despite the amazing advances in information technology over the last half-century, fundamental philosophical questions about the nature of the mind call these futures into question, no matter how fast and far our technology develops.

This course is a survey of philosophical discussions surrounding the fundamental nature of the mind, with an eye towards A.I. and virtual embodiment. Topics covered will include historical foundations, behaviorism, functionalism, mental causation and the mind-body problem, the reducibility of consciousness and qualia, theories of intentional content, machine intelligence, realism vs. eliminativism, and personal identity.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Recommended preparation

Class assignments and grading

The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by William F. Harms
Date: 11/04/2013