Silver Center 206
Monday and Wednesday 3:30-4:45
212-998-8322 (Note: you will have better
TAs: Knut Skarsaune,
Office hours: Tuesdays 11-12 and by appointment
pal305 at-sign nyu.edu,
Office Hours: Thursday 12:30-2:30
ATTENTION: The final examination will be in class on Wednesday, December 15, 2010 the last class.
No late papers. If you miss the deadline for one assignment, just do another.
Read Jim Pryor’s advice on writing a philosophy paper: Guidelines on Writing a Philosophy Paper
Assignments (and slides) are posted on Blackboard. Please submit your assignments in .doc, .docx or .rtf format, but not .pdf format.
Final Exam: December 15th: questions will be based on the assignments
Please send info about broken links to Ned Block
All readings will be available on the web. Some will require a password that will be revealed in class.
The reading for this course is not lengthy but it is difficult material. You should expect to read almost everything twice.
The Explanatory Gap
Thomas Nagel, "What is it Like to be a Bat?" The Philosophical Review, LXXXIII (4), 435-450, 1974 Sept 13, 15
Higher Order Theories of Consciousness
David Rosenthal, “A Theory of Consciousness” in N. Block, O. Flanagan and G. Güzeldere, The Nature of Consciousness: Philosophical Debates (MIT Press, 1997). Sept 22
Josh Weisberg, “Misrepresenting Consciousness”, Philosophical Studies 2010 Sept 27
Ned Block, “The Higher Order Approach to Consciousness is Defunct” Sept 29
Concepts of Consciousness
Commentaries by Burge, Byrne, et. al., Clark & Kiverstein, Garelle & Dupoux, Lau & Persaud, Levine, Lycan, Malach, Naccache & Dehaene, Prinz, Sergent, et. al., van Gulick and author’s replies (The commentaries and replies are parts of the same document.) October 11 is a holiday so this material will be discussed October 13th.
Consciousness vs. Attention
Christopher Mole, “Attention”, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy October 18th
Christof Koch & Naotsugu Tsuchiya, “The Relationship between Consciousness and Attention,” in Laureys & Tononi, The Neurology of Consciousness, 2008 October 20th
Victor Lamme, V. (2003) Why visual attention and awareness are different. Trends in Cognitive
Sciences 7:12–18. October 25th
Eric Lormand, Comments on “A Neurofunctional Theory of Visual Consciousness” Consciousness and Cognition 9 (2), June 2000, Pages 260-266 November 1st
Modularity of Mind and Top-Down Effects on Perception
Fiona Macpherson, “"Cognitive Penetration of Colour Experience: Rethinking the Issue in Light of an Indirect Mechanism", Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, forthcoming November 8th
Keith Payne, “Weapon Bias”: Split-Second Decisions and Unintended Stereotyping, Current Directions in Psychological Science 15, 6, 2006 November 10th
Harold Bekkering and Sebastiaan F. W. Neggers, “Visual Search is Modulated by Action Intentions,” Psychological Science 13, 4, 2002. November 15th
The Inverted Spectrum
Alex Byrne, “Inverted Qualia”, in Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy November 17th
Daniel Dennett, "Quining Qualia", in A. Marcel and E. Bisiach, eds, Consciousness in Modern Science, Oxford University Press 1988 November 29th
Time and Eliminativism about Consciousness
Daniel Dennett and Marcel Kinsbourne, "Time and the Observer: The Where and When of Consciousness in the Brain" Behavioral and Brain Sciences 1991 December 1st
Replies to Dennett and Kinsbourne and their rejoinders. The replies by Antony, Block, Damasio, Clark, Lycan and VanGulick may come up in class December 6th
Ian Phillips, “The Temporal Structure of Experience,” To appear in D. Lloyd and V. Arstila (eds.) Subjective Time: the Philosophy, Psychology, and Neuroscience of Temporality MIT Press. December 8th
December 13th: review
The Zombie Within
The Sense of Ownership of the Body
Manos Tsakiris & Patrick Haggard, “The Rubber Hand Illusion Revisited: Visuotactile Integration and Self-Attribution, Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 2005, 31, 1, 80-91
Frédérique de Vignemont, Habeas Corpus: The Sense of Ownership of One’s Own Body, Mind & Language 22, 4, 427-449, September 2007
H. Henrik Ehrsson, “The Experimental Induction of Out-of-Body Experiences” Science 317, 2007, p. 1048.
Greg Miller, “Out-of-Body Experiences Enter the Laboratory,” Science 317, 2007, p. 1020a
Bigna Lenggenhager, Tej Tadi, Thomas Metzinger & Olaf Blanke, “Video Ergo Sum: Manipulating Bodily Self-Consciousness,” Science 317, 2007, p. 1096.
Angelo Moravita, Atsushi Iriki, “Tools for the body (schema)”, Trends in Cognitive Sciences 8, 2, 2004
Is the Conscious Will Epiphenomenal?
Dan Wegner, “Who is the controller of controlled processes? In R. Hassin, J.S. Uleman, & J.A. Bargh (Eds.) The New Unconscious (pp. 19-36). New York: Oxford University Press.
Tim Bayne, Phenomenology and the Feeling of Doing: Wegner on the Conscious Will, In S. Pockett, W. P. Banks and S. Gallagher (eds.) Does Consciousness Cause Behavior? Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, pp. 169-186, 2006
Slides will be posted on Blackboard after
There will be a 3-5 page writing assignment posted each week and due the following week. You must choose three of these assignments, including one of Assignments 1-3, and one assignment after Assignment 6.
There will be a final examination, the questions of which will be very similar to questions on the weekly writing assignments. So you should be satisfied that you understand the questions even for assignments that you do not do in writing.
The writing assignments will normally require statements of positions taken by one of the authors that you've read. These statements should be couched in your own words, explaining how you see what the author has said. No quotations; no paraphrases.
Grading: Each of the three papers will count for one fifth of the grade, the final will count for one fifth of the grade and participation in class (including section) will be another one fifth.
Joint work is encouraged. Arguing about your views with others is the best way to find out where your position leads. If your paper is a product of joint work, all of the participants should turn in their own versions, with the communal ideas stated in each paper in the writer's own words. When you do work together on an assignment, this must be stated on each paper. All participants in joint work get full credit.
NO LATE PAPERS. Papers are due at 8 PM. If you can’t get it in by 8 PM, just do the next assignment.