Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Short-essay questions from my 2017 syllabus

I'm gearing up for the Spring 2017 semester of my own philosophy of mind course at William
Paterson University, and here are the seven short-essay questions the students will be writing on throughout the semester:

  1.  What is the difference between substances and properties, and what is at least one argument for property dualism, and what is at least one objection to that argument? 
  2. What is panpsychism, what is at least one argument for it, and what is at least one objection to that argument? 
  3. What is behaviorism, one argument for it, and one argument against it? 
  4. What is the distinction between types and tokens, and how is it used to spell out the key difference between mind-brain identity theory and functionalism? 
  5. What is the relevance of each of the three following notions in arguing for eliminative materialism: scientific realism, degenerate research program, and folk psychology? 
  6. What are the following four ideas and how are they related: swampman, Twin Earth, externalism, and internalism? 
  7. What is the difference between first-order and higher-order mental states, and what relevance do they have in explaining consciousness?

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Philosophy Videos by Pete Mandik

Follow this link for a youtube playlist of philosophy videos by Pete Mandik, author of This Is Philosophy of Mind: An Introduction.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Non-materialist neuroscience - RationalWiki

Non-materialist neuroscience - RationalWiki
Non-materialist neuroscience is one of the latest fronts in the war on science. The battle has been a long time coming and it is surprising it has taken so long to get going. Modern neuroscience is rapidly reducing much of human thought, emotion and behavior into component pieces of neuronal interactions. The combination of computational modeling and non-invasive imaging of living brains has allowed researchers to begin describing how complex thought emerges from the firing patterns of neurons. In a way, neuroscience is the death knell of dualism. When materialist causes become both necessary and sufficient to explain all of human thought then parsimony dictates that references to a soul or other supernatural entities can be tossed out.