Advanced Introduction to Philosophy of Mind, G83.1103 Wednesday 2-4










Course Requirements:

         Two 10 page papers

         First 10 page paper due October 22nd. Sample topics here

         Draft of second 10 page paper due November 19th

*       Look at Jim Pryor’s Guidelines for Writing a Philosophy Paper

         Second 10 page paper due December 4th (Instead of a second 10 page paper, you can elect to expand your first 10 page paper to 20 pages, also due December 4th.)

No Incompletes in this course







Background assumed: the equivalent of an undergraduate degree in philosophy. Although no specific background in philosophy of mind will be assumed, those who have no knowledge of philosophy of mind might browse through an introductory text such as

Alternatively, you might browse through

  • In order to access many of the web items on this site, you need a university email account.  If  you have an NYU web account, but are not logging in from an NYU site, you will need to tell your browser to use an NYU proxy.  Click here for instructions.







        N. Block, O. Flanagan and G. Gzeldere, The Nature of Consciousness: Philosophical Debates (MIT Press, 1997).

        David Papineau, Thinking about Consciousness, Oxford 2002

        David Chalmers, The Conscious Mind, Oxford 1996. The 3 chapters that we will actually talk about are on-line, but accessible only with a password (which will be mentioned in class).

        S. Dehaene, The Cognitive Neuroscience of Consciousness, MIT Press, 2001 (We are only reading 3 papers from this book, and they are all available on the web.)



Click To DownloadRemember: no Incompletes in this course!




Items from Block, Flanagan Gzeldere are marked “BFG”. (Apologies to Roald Dahl.) Many items are on the web as indicated. There are a few items that will be xeroxed and place on reserve. Please send me email if you find links on this site that don't work properly.



September 3: Introduction: the main metaphysical theories of mind


September 10: Concepts of Consciousness

*       Ned Block, “Some Concepts of Consciousness”, in Chalmers (ed.), Philosophy of Mind, Oxford, 2002 .

*       Dan Dennett, "The Path Not Taken", BFG 417

*       David Chalmers, "Availability: The Cognitive Basis of Experience?", BFG 421

*       Jennifer Church, "Fallacies or Analyses?", BFG 425

*       Ned Block, replies  Some (pp144-165) objections and my replies are on the web.  These replies are slightly corrected.

*       Tyler Burge, "Two Kinds of Consciousness" BFG 427

September 17 Functionalism vs Physicalism in an empirical context

*       Susan Hurley and Alva Noe, "Neural plasticity and consciousness." Biology and Philosophy 18, 1, pp 131-168. The article is accessible here in published form. If you use the version from No’s web site, figures here in a somewhat distorted form, or download here

*       Ned Block, ""Spatial Perception via Tactile Sensation," (or here) Trends in Cognitive Sciences Volume 7, Issue 7 , July 2003, Pages 285-286.  (Note: the journal incorrectly reversed the noun phrases in the title.) 

*       Susan Hurley and Alva No, Neural plasticity and consciousness: Reply to Block Trends in Cognitive Sciences Volume 7, Issue 78August, 2003 issue. This paper, and many others on this site require a university email account for access.  If  you have an NYU web account, but are not logging in from an NYU site, you will need to tell your browser to use an NYU proxy.  Click here for instructions. It will take you 10 minutes to solve this problem. If you are having trouble, send me email about it. In the meantime, click here.

September 24 Eliminativism

*       Daniel Dennett, "Quining Qualia" (also in BFG 619-642)

*       Daniel Dennett and Marcel Kinsbourne, "Time and the Observer: The Where and When of Consciousness in the Brain" (also in BFG 141-174)

*       Ned Block, "Begging the Question against Phenomenal Consciousness" 175-180 in BFG

*       Robert Van Gulick, "Time for More Alternatives", 181-184 in BFG


October 1: Inverted Spectrum

*       Sydney Shoemaker, "The Inverted Spectrum", 643-662 in BFG

*       Robert Stalnaker, "Comparing Qualia Across Persons," in The Philosophy of Sydney Shoemaker, Philosophical Topics, 26. 385-404.

*       Stephen Palmer, “Color, Consciousness, and the Isomorphism Constraint” or here, in The Behavioral and Brain Sciences 22, 6, 1999. The first link is the better since it is corrected and also has responses.


Recommended reading that may not be discussed in class

*       Stephen White, "The Curse of the Qualia", 695-718 in BFG


October 8 Representationism

*       David Chalmers, “The Representational Character of Experience”, To appear in B. Leiter (ed.) The Future for Philosophy (Oxford, 2004)

*       Christopher Peacocke,"Sensation and the Content of Experience: A Distinction" BFG, 341-354

*       Ned Block, “Mental Paint” forthcoming in a book of essays on Tyler Burge

*       Michael Tye, “Representationalism and the Transparency of Experience,” Nous 36, 1, 2002

Recommended readings that may not be discussed in class:

*       Alex Byrne, "Intentionalism Defended" [PDF] The Philosophical Review

*       William Lycan, “The Case for Phenomenal Externalism

*       Michael Tye, "A Representational Theory of Pains and Their Phenomenal Character" BFG, 329-340

*       Gilbert Harman, The Intrinsic Quality of Experience, BFG, 663-676

*       Ned Block, "Inverted Earth" BFG, 677-694


October 15: Higher order Thought

*       David Rosenthal, "A Theory of Consciousness" BFG 729-754

*       David Rosenthal, “"How Many Kinds of Consciousness?", Consciousness and Cognition, 11, 4 (December 2002),

*       William Lycan, “A simple argument for a higher-order representation theory of consciousness,” Analysis 61, 1, January, 2001. 

*       Neil Campbell Manson, “The limitations and costs of Lycan’s ‘simple’ argument”, Analysis 61, 4, October 2001

*       Alex Byrne "Some Like It HOT: consciousness and higher-order thoughts", Philosophical Studies 86, 1997

         Recommended readings that may not be discussed in class:

*       Robert Van Gulick, "Inward and Upward—Reflection, Introspection and Self-Awareness"

*       Peter Carruthers, higher-order theories (Stanford Encyclopedia)

October 22: Phenomenal Concepts and Jackson’s Mary

*       Papineau: Chapter 2, 4

*       Robert van Gulick, "Understanding the Phenomenal Mind: Are we all Just Armadillos? Part I"  BFG 559

*       Frank Jackson, "What Mary Didn't Know", BFG 567

*       Paul Churchland, "Knowing Qualia": A Reply to Jackson,"  BFG 571

*       Frank Jackson, “Mind and Illusion”, forthcoming in Philosophy

October 29: Modal Arguments for Dualism 1

*       Saul Kripke, "The Identity Thesis", BFG 445

*       David Chalmers, three chapters from The Conscious Mind,1997 (Web; for copyright reasons, these chapters require a password for access.)

         Chapter 2: "Supervenience and Explanation"

         Chapter 3: "Can Consciousness be Reductively Explained?"

         Chapter 4: "Naturalistic Dualism"

*       (Those who want to see a different version of these ideas can consult Frank Jackson, "Finding the Mind in the Natural World", BFG 483-492 or Jackson’s From Metaphysics to Ethics: A Defence of Conceptual Analysis. Oxford University Press. But I will not be talking about Jackson’s version in class.)

Recommended Reading

*       Papineau, Chapter 3


November 5: Modal Arguments for Dualism 2

*       Ned Block and Robert Stalnaker, "Conceptual Analysis, Dualism and the Explanatory Gap", or here, or here for economy pdf or here for high quality pdf. The Philosophical Review 108, No 1, 1999

*       David Chalmers and Frank Jackson "Conceptual Analysis and Reductive Explanation", The Philosophical Review



Recommended reading that may not be discussed in class:

*       Stephen Yablo, Textbook Kripkeanism & the Open Texture of Concepts


November 12, The Property Dualism Argument

*       Stephen White, "Why the Property Dualism Argument Won't Go Away",  or in PDF form, forthcoming in the Journal of Philosophy

*       Ned Block, " Max Black’s Objection to Mind-Body Identity"  


November 19: Intensions

*      Alex Byrne and Jim Pryor, “Bad Intensions If this link doesn’t get to the paper, go to Alex Byrne’s or Jim Pryor’s web site and get the paper there.

*      David Chalmers’ brief remarks on Byrne and Pryor

November 26: The Harder Problem of Consciousness

*       Ned Block, "The Harder Problem of Consciousness".  The Journal of Philosophy XCIX, No. 8, August 2002, 1-35. The version that came out in The Journal of Philosophy was shortened considerably because of space limitations in the journal.  Some of the cuts have been restored in the version here.  Click here to download Acrobat Reader, which is needed to view PDF files.

*       Papineau, Chapter 7

*       Brian McLaughlin, A Naturalist-Phenomenal Realist Response To Block's Harder Problem," Philosophical Issues, 13, (2003):163-204.


December 3: The Search for the Neural Correlate of Consciousness

*       Nancy Kanwisher, "Neural events and perceptual awareness". This article and the next are in Dehaene. They are also available in Cognition, Volume 79, Issues 1-2, Pages 1-237 (April 2001) usually in both html and PDF versions.  (I have linked to the html versions when available.)  Other library sites will also have this journal.

*       Stanislas Dehaene and Lionel Naccache, "Towards a cognitive neuroscience of consciousness: basic evidence and a workspace framework," Pages 1-37

*       Daniel Dennett, Are we explaining consciousness yet?, Pages 221-237 of Dehaene and of Cognition issue

*       Ned Block "Paradox and Cross Purpose in Recent Work on Consciousness" Better to read this than the version in Dehaene or on the Cognition web site.


Recommended readings that may not be discussed in class:

*       Jon Driver and Patrik Vuilleumier, Perceptual awareness and its loss in unilateral neglect and extinction, Pages 39-88 of Dehaene

*       Geraint Rees,, “Neural correlates of consciousness in humans”, Nature Reviews Neuroscience 3, 261-270

*       David Chalmers, "What is a Neural Correlate of Consciousness?" in Neural Correlates of Consciousness: Empirical and Conceptual Questions (T. Metzinger, ed), published with MIT Press in 2000


Omitted: The Zombie Within


*       Andy Clark, "Visual Experience and Motor Action: Are the Bonds Too Tight?" Phil Review Oct 2001.

*       VanRullen, R. & Koch, C. Visual attention and visual awareness. Handbook of Clinical Neurophysiology (to be published)

*       Crick, F. and Koch, C A framework for consciousness. Nature Neuroscience (2003) 6, 119-126

*       Koch, C. and Crick, F.C. The zombie within. Nature (2001) 411, 893-893




A login name and password will be announced in class

      Intro Slides

      Concepts of Consciousness

      Burge on Concepts of Consciousness

      Dennett on qualia

      Hurley and Noe

      Representationism. Also, a pointer to a paragraph on unconscious representation

      Higher Order Views

      Jackson’s Mary

      Kripke and Chalmers

      Chalmers and Jackson

      Property Dualism Argument



 Encyclopedia articles on philosophy of mind

*       David Papineau, “Functionalism

*       Ned Block, "What is Functionalism?"

*       Ned Block, "The Mind as the Software of the Brain"

*       Frank Jackson, “Identity Theory of Mind

*       Daniel Stoljar, Physicalism

*       Kim Sterelny, “Reductionism in the Philosophy of Mind

*       Howard Robinson, “Materialism in the Philosophy of Mind


General articles specifically on consciousness:

*       Martin Davies "Consciousness"

*       Michael Tye "qualia "

*       Eric Lormand “Consciousness

*       William Lycan “The Plurality of Consciousness

*       Janet Levin, “Qualia

*       Gven Gzeldere, "Introduction: The Many Faces of Consciousness: A Field Guide", BFG



Many philosophers who write on this topic have web sites (mainly from Dave Chalmers' web site)

*       Torin Alter (qualia, free will, etc)

*       Michael Antony (consciousness, etc)

*       Tim Bayne (consciousness, personal identity)

*       Karen Bennett (mind, metaphysics)

*       Ned Block (consciousness, reduction, content, etc)

*       Alex Byrne (consciousness, metaphysics, etc.)

*       Peter Carruthers (consciousness, language)

*       David Chalmers (philosophy of mind and language, cognitive science, metaphysics)

*       Austen Clark (color, consciousness, vision)

*       David Cole (consciousness, language)

*       Martin Davies (mind, language, metaphysics)

*       Craig DeLancey (emotion, consciousness)

*       Daniel Dennett (philosophy of mind)

*       Shaun Gallagher (phenomenology, self-consciousness)

*       Brie Gertler (consciousness, introspection, metaphysics)

*       Benj Hellie (consciousness, Nietzsche)

*       Ted Honderich (consciousness, free will, ethics)

*       Susan Hurley (consciousness, perception, political philosophy)

*       Frank Jackson (mind, language, metaphysics)

*       Sean Kelly (perceptual experience, action)

*       Peter Lloyd (consciousness, idealism)

*       Eric Lormand (consciousness, meaning, cognitive architecture)

*       William Lycan (consciousness, epistemology)

*       Thomas Metzinger (consciousness)

*       Alva No (perception, consciousness)

*       Gerard O'Brien (consciousness, connectionism)

*       David Papineau (consciousness, epistemology, philosophy of science)

*       Tom Polger (consciousness, evolution)

*       Jesse Prinz (consciousness, emotion, concepts, moral psychology)

*       William Robinson (consciousness, qualia)

*       Gregg Rosenberg (A Place for Consciousness, etc.)

*       David Rosenthal (consciousness, intentionality, etc.)

*       William Seager (consciousness, metaphysics)

*       John Searle (consciousness, AI; and here)

*       Susanna Siegel (mind, language, metaphysics)

*       Daniel Stoljar (mind, language, metaphysics)

*       Pr Sundstrm (consciousness)

*       Nigel Thomas (imagery, consciousness, zombie killer)

*       Michael Tye (consciousness, qualia, content)

Websites of organizations

*       Association for the Scientific Study of Consciousness

*       Brain Project

*       Center for Consciousness Studies (Arizona),

*       Consciousness in the Natural World Project ,

*       Journal of Consciousness Studies

*       Psyche

*       Consciousness and Cognition,

*       The on-line directory of papers on consciousness

*       NEH Summer Institute on Consciousness and Intentionality