PHIL 255, Winter, 2014
Philosophy of Mind
Description: This introduction to philosophy of mind will discuss fundamental questions about the nature of mind, consciousness, the self, and free will.
Instructor: Paul Thagard. Email: Phone: extension 33594.
Office hours (HH368): TTh 11:30-12:30, and by appointment.
Web page: To improve learning, please turn off all electronic devices such as phones, computers, and transcranial magnetic stimulators. See blog for reasons.

Time: TTh 10-11:20, HH 280

Textbook: Pete Mandik, This is Philosophy of Mind. Required readings are from this text. Recommended readings are available via the Web links below.

 Week  Date Topic Required Reading

Recommended Reading


Jan. 7-9

Introduction to philosophy of mind
Ch. 1 Wikipedia

Jan. 14-16


Chs. 2-3



Jan. 21-23

Mind as brain

Ch. 6



Jan. 28-Jan. 30

Idealism Exam 1 Jan. 30

Ch. 4



Feb. 4-6

Behaviorism and other minds

Ch. 5



Feb. 11-13

Thinking machines

Chs. 7-8



Feb. 25-27

Mental causation and folk psychology

Chs. 9-10


8 Mar. 4-6 Perception; Exam 2 March 6 Ch. 11 Wikipedia


Mar. 11-13

Consciousness NOTE CHANGE

Ch. 14


Mar. 18-20

The will and freedom; Essay March 20

Ch. 12



Mar. 25-27

Self and identity. NEW: NO CLASS MARCH 25!

Chs. 15


12 Apr. 1-3 Intentionality; Exam 3 April 3. No other exams. Ch. 13 SEP

Web Links

Review questions

Essay topics

Lecture notes

Week 1. Introduction to Philosophy of Mind

Week 2. Dualism

Week 3. Mind=brain

Week 4. Idealism & panpsychism

Week 5, Behaviorism and other minds

Week 6, Machine intelligence and functionalism

Week 7, Mental causation and eliminative materialism

Week 8, Perception, imagery, and emotion

Week 9, Consciousness

Week 10, Free will

Week 11, Self and identity

Wee 12, Meaning and intentionality

Information on Philosophy and the Cognitive Science Minor

From the Faculty of Arts:

All students registered in the courses of the Faculty of Arts are expected to know what constitutes academic integrity, to avoid committing academic offences, and to take responsibility for their actions. When the commission of an offence is established, disciplinary penalties will be imposed in accord with Policy #71 (Student Academic Discipline). For information on categories of offences and types of penalties, students are directed to consult the summary of Policy #71 which is supplied in the Undergraduate Calendar (section 1; on the Web at If you need help in learning what constitutes an academic offence; how to avoid offences such as plagiarism, cheating, and double submission; how to follow appropriate rules with respect to “group work” and collaboration; or if you need clarification of aspects of the discipline policy, ask your TA and/or your course instructor for guidance. Other resources regarding the discipline policy are your academic advisor and the Undergraduate Associate Dean. Students who believe that they have been wrongfully or unjustly penalized have the right to grieve; refer to Policy #70, Student Grievance,”

Faculty of Arts information on plagiarism and other offences.

Paul Thagard

Computational Epistemology Laboratory.

This page updated March 31, 2014