Syllabus for Phil GA 1103, Advanced Introduction to Philosophy of Mind
*Starred readings are the major focus of the week’s discussion
Further Readings on all of these topics can be found in the philosophy of mind section of PhilPapers
September 8: Chalmers
Consciousness and the Mind-Body Problem
*David Chalmers (2003). Consciousness and its place in nature. In S. Stich & T. Warfield (Eds.), Blackwell Guide to the Philosophy of Mind: Blackwell.
Frank Jackson, “Epiphenomenal Qualia”, American Philosophical Quarterly, 32, 127-136, 1982.
Block, N., & Stalnaker, R. (1999). Conceptual Analysis, Dualism and the Explanatory Gap. The Philosophical Review, 108(1), 1-46.
September 15: Block
The phenomenal concept strategy
*Kati Balog, In Defense of the Phenomenal Concept Strategy, Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 84(1), 1-23, 2012
David Chalmers, Phenomenal Concepts and the Explanatory Gap, (T. Alter & S. Walter, eds) Phenomenal Concepts and Phenomenal Knowledge: New Essays on Consciousness and Physicalism (Oxford University Press, 2006)
(Ned Block, "Max Black’s Objection to Mind-Body Identity", in Oxford Studies in Metaphysics, II, edited by Dean Zimmerman with replies by John Perry and Stephen White, Oxford University Press, 2006, p. 3-78. White’s reply here. This article is very long and overly complicated.)
Background to this and other topics on the list: Thomas Nagel, “What is it like to be a bat?” The Philosophical Review 83 (1974); 435-50
September 22: Chalmers
Panpsychism and Russellian Monism
*Galen Strawson, Realistic monism - why physicalism entails panpsychism, Journal of Consciousness Studies 13 (10-11):3-31 (2006)
*David Chalmers, Panpsychism and panprotopsychism
David Chalmers, The combination problem for panpsychism
Philip Goff, Against constitutive Russellian monism
Barbara Montero, Russellian Physicalism
Daniel Stoljar, Two concepts of the physical
Giulio Tononi et al, Integrated information theory 3.0
September 29: Block
Phenomenal consciousness and access consciousness
*Ned Block, “Concepts of Consciousness”. In D. Chalmers (ed.), Philosophy of Mind: Classical and Contemporary Readings. 206-219 (2002)
*Ned Block, ““Perceptual consciousness overflows cognitive access”. Trends in Cognitive Sciences December 15, 12, 2011, p 567-575
Note: this paper might be hard to understand for someone with no empirical background. If you are having problems understanding it, read this instead. It is a summary of the empirical issues as of 2007 for philosophers:
For an update on the empirical issues, see: Ned Block, “Rich conscious perception outside focal attention”, Trends in Cognitive Sciences Vol. 18, Issue 9, p445–447, 2014
For an amusing take on the scientific issues by a scientist, see Victor Lamme’s Youtube talk. This is 30 minutes and goes down easily
These are constructive takes on how access consciousness should be understood:
Š Daniel Stoljar, “In Praise of Poise”, Forthcoming in A. Pautz and D. Stoljar (eds.) Themes from Block, Cambridge, MA:MIT Press.
This is a discussion of the methodological issues:
Š Nicholas Shea, Methodological Encounters with the Phenomenal Kind, Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, Vol. LXXXIV No. 2, March 2012
These are critiques:
Š James Stazicker (2011). Attention, Visual Consciousness, and Indeterminacy. Mind and Language 26, 2, 156-184 (or here or here
Š Cohen, M. and Dennett, D. (2011) Consciousness cannot be separated from function. Trends in Cognitive Sciences 15, 358-364
October 6: Chalmers
Illusionism about Consciousness
*Alva Noe, Is the visual world a grand illusion?
Jonathan Cohen, The grand grand illusion illusion
No class October 13
October 20: Block
*Ned Block, “Troubles with Functionalism”
*David Chalmers, “Absent Qualia, Fading Qualia, Dancing Qualia”
*Michael Tye, “Homunculi Heads And Silicon Chips: The Importance Of History To Phenomenology”, Forthcoming in A. Pautz and D. Stoljar (eds.) Themes from Block, Cambridge, MA:MIT Press.
October 27: Chalmers
The Problem of Perception
*Crane, T. (2005). The Problem of Perception. In E. N. Zalta (Ed.), The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Vol. Spring). Stanford: Center for the Study of Language and Information.
*Susanna Siegel, The Contents of Perception, In E. N. Zalta (Ed.), The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Vol. Spring). Stanford: Center for the Study of Language and Information.
November 3: Block
Representationalism and attention
*Block, N. (2010). Attention and Mental Paint. Philosophical Issues: A Supplement to Nous, 20, 23-63.
*Sebastian Watzl, “Can representationism explain how attention affects appearances?” Forthcoming in A. Pautz and D. Stoljar (eds.) Themes from Block, Cambridge, MA:MIT Press.
Alex Byrne, Intentionalism Defended, Philosophical Review 110, 2: 2001
David Chalmers, The representational character of experience, in B. Leiter (ed.) The Future for Philosophy (Oxford, 2004)
November 10: Chalmers
*Horgan and Tienson, The Intentionality of Phenomenology and the Phenomenology of Intentionality
*Angela Mendelovici & David Bourget, “Phenomenal Intentionality”, forthcoming in Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
Angela Mendelovici & David Bourget, Naturalizing Intentionality: Tracking Theories Versus Phenomenal Intentionality Theories. Philosophy Compass 9 (5):325-337. 2014.
Brian Loar, Phenomenal Intentionality as the Basis of Mental Content, In Martin Hahn & B. Ramberg (eds.), Reflections and Replies: Essays on the Philosophy of Tyler Burge. MIT Press 229--258 (2003)
Pierre Jacob, Intentionality (SEP)
John Haugeland, The Intentionality All-Stars
November 17: Block
*Susanna Siegel, (2006). Which Properties are Represented in Perception? In T. Gendler & J. Hawthorne (Eds.), Perceptual Experience (pp. 481-503). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
*Ned Block, “Seeing-As in the Light of Vision Science,” Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 2014
Tyler Burge, Reply to Block: Adaptation and the Upper Border of Perception, Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 2014
November 24: Chalmers
Narrow and Wide Content
*David Chalmers, The Components of Content, in Chalmers, Philosophy of Mind: Classical and Contemporary Readings (Oxford University Press, 2002), pp. 608-633
John Hawthorne and Juhanni Yli-Vakkuri, Narrow Content
Tyler Burge, Individualism and the Mental, Midwest Studies In Philosophy Volume 4, Issue 1, pages 73–121, September 1979
Curtis Brown, Narrow Mental Content (SEP)
December 1: Block
Twin-earthability and phenomenal representation
*Adam Pautz, “How Can Brains in Vats Experience a Spatial World? A Puzzle for Internalists” Forthcoming in A. Pautz and D. Stoljar (eds.) Themes from Block, Cambridge, MA:MIT Press.
David Chalmers, Three Puzzles about Spatial Experience, Forthcoming in A. Pautz and D. Stoljar (eds.) Themes from Block, Cambridge, MA:MIT Press.
December 8: Chalmers
*Andy Clark and David Chalmers, The Extended Mind, ANALYSIS 58: 1: 1998 p.7-19
Justin Fisher, Why Nothing Mental Is in the Head, Nous 41:2 (2007), 318-334
Fred Adams, Why the Mind is Still in the Head
Brie Gertler, Overextending the Mind
December 15: Block
The Perception-Cognition Border
None of these are starred. The Fodor reading is deep background. You might choose to read the Lupyan/MacPherson interchange or the Firestone-Scholl/Block/Lupyan interchange
Chapters 1-3 of Fodor, J. A. (1983). Modularity of Mind: An Essay on Faculty Psychology: MIT Press.
Gary Lupyan, “Cognitive Penetrability of Perception in the Age of Prediction: Predictive Systems are Penetrable Systems, In Review of Philosophy and Psychology. DOI 10.1007/s13164-015-0253-4
Fiona MacPherson, Cognitive penetration and predictive coding: a commentary on Lupyan. Or here Review of Philosophy and Psychology, (2015) 6:571–584 (doi:10.1007/s13164-015-0254-3)
Gary Lupyan, Reply to Macpherson: Further illustrations of the cognitive penetrability of perception, Rev.Phil.Psych. (2015) 6:585–589
Chaz Firestone and Brian Scholl, Cognition does not affect perception: Evaluating the evidence for ‘top-down’ effects, forthcoming in The Behavioral and Brain Sciences
Ned Block, Tweaking the Concepts of Perception and Cognition, forthcoming in The Behavioral and Brain Sciences
Gary Lupyan, Not even wrong: the "it's just X" fallacy, forthcoming in The Behavioral and Brain Sciences