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Course Information

Instructor Info:Jonathan Westphal
Office Extension x6848
Term: 2013F
Meeting Info: Monday Wednesday
04:00 PM - 05:20 PM Adele Simmons Hall (ASH) 222
04:00 PM - 05:20 PM Adele Simmons Hall (ASH) 222

What is the mind? Are mental states behavioral dispositions? Or brain processes? Or functional or computational states? Or is there no such thing as the mind, but only the brain? How is the mind related to the body? How can a physical event in space cause a mental event of which we become aware? Consciousness: what is it and what is it doing there in an otherwise physical universe? Is knowledge of experience knowledge of something physical? Why is there a gap between the physical world and what we experience? How can physical beings such as we are or partly are develop things like intentions and beliefs? Stones can't have intentions. Why not? Emphasis is on the understanding of existing theories in the field and the development of students' own views through portfolio and notebook work.  

Prerequisite: At least one previous class in philosophy

Course Objectives:

The course objectives include: an understanding of the way in which philosophy of mind works, and an insight into the characteristic patterns of argument in the philosophy of mind;  a formulation of the student's own philosophy of mind, as far as possible; and an understanding of some basic literature in the area, mostly twentieth-century.

Evaluation Criteria:

Students will be invited to complete two short (6 pages) Papers, two Exams (not unseen) and Question Sets on the Reading. Each of these five element counts equally in the Evaluation. No Evaluation will be given without all the elements.

Additional Info:


"PM" refers to the course textbook: Philosophy of Mind: Contemporary Readings, ed. Timothy O'Connor and David Robb, (London: Routledge, 2003). 

You should buy the textbook and bring it to every class meeting.


Papers, Exams and Question Sets must be submitted on the due dates in hard copy, not online.

Portfolios, due on the last day of class, the same day as the Final, must include the two 6pp Papers, two Exams, and all Question Sets, so be sure to keep all these in a safe place through the semester - or you won't have a Portfolio.  


Papers using internet sources and resources will not be accepted in this course. All quotations and references in the paper must be to published hard copy in an academic journal or book. 


The Hampshire College Task Plagiarism Force has written that 'Plagiarism is the representation of someone else’s work as ones own. Both deliberate and inadvertent misrepresentations of another’s work as your own are considered plagiarism and are serious breaches of academic honesty and integrity. All sources used or consulted in the process of writing papers, examinations, preparing oral presentations, course assignments, artistic productions, and so on, must be cited. Sources include material from books, journals or any other printed source, the work of other students, faculty, or staff, information from the Internet, software programs and other electronic material, designs and ideas.' In addition, 'All cases of suspected plagiarism or academic dishonesty will be referred to the Dean of Advising who will review documentation and meet with student and faculty member. Individual faculty, in consultation with the Dean of Advising, will decide the most appropriate consequence in the context of the class. This can range from revising and resubmitting an assignment to failing the course. Beyond the consequence in the course, CASA considers first offenses as opportunities for education and official warning. Multiple or egregious offenses will have more serious consequences. Suspected instances of other breaches of the ethics of academic integrity, such as the falsification of data, will be treated with the same seriousness as plagiarism and will follow the same process.'

These policies will be rigidly enforced in Philosophy of Mind CS-0202-1.