Class meetings: Monday/Wednesday 1-1:50pm, ILC 120
Office hours: Monday 3:30-5pm (Social Sciences 226A)
This class is devoted to philosophical issues concerning the mind, the self, knowledge, and reality.
There will be two papers of 4-6 pages each, a midterm and a final exam, and occasional quizzes. Late papers will be penalized at a rate of one letter grade per day (except with medical documentation). No incompletes will be given, except for very good medical reasons. If you have special needs, let me know soon. Attendance at discussion section is required; if you miss more than two meetings, your grade will suffer. Plagiarism will lead to automatic failure and report. The final exam is May 12, 11am to 1pm (no alterations).
Paper topics are available here!
Tips on doing philosophy
Here are some very useful resources on how to write philosophy papers. Read these carefully!
Here is a very approximate week-by-week plan for the course, with associated readings. Note that this is very likely to be revised as things develop, and further readings will be added.
TOPIC 1. INTRODUCTION (1 week)
Week 1 (Jan 15, 22): Philosophy, Arguments
Week 2 (Jan 27, 29): Descartes and Skepticism
Week 3 (Feb 3, 5): Responses to Skepticism
Week 4 (Feb 10, 12): More on The Matrix
TOPIC 3: THE MIND-BODY PROBLEM (3 weeks)
Week 5 (Feb 17, 19): Materialism and Dualism
Week 6 (Feb 24, 26): Varieties of Dualism: Interactionism and Epiphenomenalism
Week 7 (March 3, 5): Varieties of Materialism: Behaviorism and the Identity Theory
TOPIC 4: CONSCIOUSNESS (2 weeks)
Week 8 (March 10, 12): The Puzzle of Consciousness
Week 9 (March 24, 26): The Hard Problem
Week 10 (March 31, April 2): Midterm, Ethics of War
TOPIC 5: ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE (2-3 weeks)
Week 11: (April 7, 9): Can Computers Think?
Week 12: (April 14. 16): Machine Consciousness
TOPIC 6: THE SELF (1-2 weeks)
TOPIC 7: FREE WILL (1-2 weeks)
TOPIC 8: TIME TRAVEL (1-2 weeks)
Some useful resources on the web include: