Topic Anthology references Teaching Notes / Ideas Assessment. Letter from Princess of Bohemia to Descartes in May 1643

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1 A2 Philosophy Scheme of Work Study Weeks Week 1 Weeks 2-3 Weeks 4-11 Weeks Week 14 Induction Substance Dualism Materialism Property Dualism Revision Topics for study Topic Anthology references Teaching Notes / Ideas Assessment 1 Introduction A recap of key terms from the AS course and an introduction to the A2 topics. 2 Cartesian Dualism The indivisibility argument for substance dualism (Descartes) the mental is divisible in some sense not everything thought of as physical is divisible The conceivability argument for substance dualism: the logical possibility of mental substance existing without the physical (Descartes). Letter from Princess of Bohemia to Descartes in May 1643 Descartes, Meditations on First Philosophy, 6 (expressed without reference to God) The inclusion of an introduction week assumes that Philosophy of Mind is the first topic addressed in the second year of the course. It is intended to provide a bridge from the AS course to the A2 course after a long summer break. As this is the first discussion of the topic, spend time closely analysing the arguments and how they can be challenged. Use relevant texts and the study of these as the basis for an initial diagnostic assessment. Although there are other argument mentioned on the Briefly outline Descartes indivisibility argument. (5 marks)

2 mind without body is not conceivable what is conceivable may not be possible what is logically possible tells us nothing about reality 3 The issues of causal interaction for versions of dualism: the problems facing interactionist dualism: including conceptual and empirical causation issues the problems facing epiphenomenalist dualism: including the causal redundancy of the mental, the argument from introspection and issues relating to free will and responsibility The problem of other minds for dualism: some forms of dualism make it impossible to know other minds threat of solipsism. Response: the argument from analogy (e.g. Mill). 4 Behaviourism Logical/analytical behaviourism: all statements about mental states can be analytically reduced without loss of meaning to statements about behaviour (an analytic reduction). Letter from Princess of Bohemia to Descartes in May 1643 Descartes, Meditations on First Philosophy, 6 (expressed without reference to God) Ryle, G. (1949), The Concept of Mind, London: Hutchinson Penguin Classics edition, 2000 Chalmers, D, Consciousness and its place in nature. specification that could be used to support Cartesian dualism (e.g. the knowledge argument/zombie argument) these will be introduced later in course as a criticism of reductive theories and to provide support for property dualism. This will help to provide a more coherent line of discussion. Students to consider how an argument might be developed based on the question is the mind distinct from the body? Extension: Introduction of Wittgenstein s Private Language Argument as a possible response to the problem of other minds. Focus on understanding demands of 25 mark questions. Chapter 1 in The Concept of Mind is very accessible. Students can read this independently, especially Ryle s discussion of category mistakes and examples of these. Students to try and set their own exam-style questions for each other to answer, with supervision.

3 Strengths of behaviourism dualist arguments 5 Issues defining mental states satisfactorily (circularity and the multiple realisability of mental states in behaviour) the conceivability of mental states without associated behaviour (Putnam s superspartans) the asymmetry between self-knowledge and knowledge of other people s mental states. 6 Mind-brain type identity theory All mental states are identical to brain states ( ontological reduction) though mental state and brain state are not synonymous (so not an analytic reduction). Strengths of identity theories dualist arguments (above) issues with providing the type identities (the multiple realisability of mental states) the location problem: brain states have precise spatial locations which thoughts lack. 7 The knowledge /Mary argument based on qualia (Frank Jackson). Qualia as introspectively accessible subjective/phenomenal features of mental states (the properties of what it is like to undergo the mental state in question) for many qualia would be defined as the intrinsic/non-representational properties of mental states Putnam, H. (1967) Psychological predicates, in W. H. Capitan & D. D. Merrill (eds.), Art, Mind, and Religion, University of Pittsburgh Press Smart, JJC, (1959) Sensations and brain processes, The Philosophical Review, 68 (2), Chalmers, D, Consciousness and its place in nature. Jackson, F. (1982), Epiphenomenal Qualia, Philosophical Quarterly 32, Jackson, F. (1986), What Mary Didn't Know, Journal of Philosophy 83, Jackson, F. (1995), Postscript on What Mary didn't know, in Extension for stretch and challenge Wittgenstein s private language argument as a response to apparent asymmetry between selfknowledge and knowledge of other people s mental states. Students from a scientific background can be set a challenge to find evidence that the mind is dependent on the brain as a homework task. This can then be presented to other students as a peer-to-peer teaching activity. Philosophybites podcast with Frank Jackson is a very useful resource. It is important that students are able to explain the knowledge argument rather than simply outline the Mary example. Can mental states be reduced to behavioural states? (25 marks) Briefly explain the location problem. (5 marks) Are mental states ontologically reducible to brain states? (25 marks)

4 Mary gains no new propositional knowledge (but gains acquaintance knowledge or ability knowledge) all physical knowledge would include knowledge of qualia there is more than one way of knowing the same physical fact Qualia (as defined) do not exist and so Mary gains no propositional knowledge 8 Functionalism All mental states can be reduced to functional roles which can be multiply realised. Strengths of the functionalist approach Moser, P. & J. Trout (1995), Contemporary Materialism, London, Routledge, Jackson, F. (1998), Postscript on Qualia, in Jackson: Mind, Methods and Conditionals, London, Routledge. Putnam, H. (1967) Psychological predicates, in W. H. Capitan & D. D. Merrill (eds.), Art, Mind, and Religion, University of Pittsburgh Press Excellent opportunity to use selected clips from films that are based on the concept of AI, and student understanding of functionalism can be consolidated by these (e.g. AI, IRobot,Ex Machina) 9 the possibility of a functional duplicate with different qualia (inverted qualia) the possibility of a functional duplicates with no qualia (Block s Chinese mind ) the knowledge/mary argument can be applied to functional facts (no amount of facts about function suffices to explain qualia). Block, N, Troubles with functionalism: Section 1.2 There are many clips of Dan Dennett and Ned Block discussing consciousness that are easily accessed on YouTube that may be useful as a stimulant to discussion. How might qualia be problematic for functionalism? (12 marks) 10 Eliminative materialism: Some or all mental states do not exist (folkpsychology is false or at least radically misleading). Strengths of eliminative materialism Churchland, P M (1981), Eliminative Materialism and the Propositional Attitudes, Journal of Philosophy 78, (Section 2 - Why folk psychology might (really) be false) Stress the radical distinction between this form of materialism and reductive materialism.

5 11 the intuitive certainty of the existence of my mind takes priority over other considerations folk-psychology has good predictive and explanatory power the articulation of eliminative materialism as a theory is self-refuting. 12 Property Dualism Strengths of property dualism over other approaches. The knowledge /Mary argument for property dualism based on qualia (Frank Jackson). Recap of discussion of this argument from earlier in the course. Jackson, F. (1982), Epiphenomenal Qualia, Philosophical Quarterly 32, Jackson, F. (1986), What Mary Didn't Know, Journal of Philosophy 83, Jackson, F. (1995), Postscript on What Mary didn't know, in Moser, P. & J. Trout (1995), Contemporary Materialism, London, Routledge, Use opportunity to review Cartesian dualism, and emphasise the different form of dualism (interactionist and epiphenomenalist) Students to draw out similarities and differences between different forms of dualism. Assess eliminative materialism. (25 marks) What are the similarities and differences between interactionist dualism and epiphenomenalist dualism? (12 marks) 13 The philosophical zombies argument for property dualism: the logical possibility of a duplicate physical world to this world without consciousness/qualia (Chalmers). a zombie world is not conceivable what is conceivable is not possible Jackson, F. (1998), Postscript on Qualia, in Jackson: Mind, Methods and Conditionals, London, Routledge. Chalmers, D, Consciousness and its place in nature. Students to reflect on the implications of this argument for the other theories we have considered. Briefly explain the philosophical zombie argument for property dualism. (5 marks)

6 what is logically possible tells us nothing about reality 14 Revision and Mock Exam

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