Philosophy of Neuroscience Seminar



Symbolic Systems 206 / Philosophy Cognate
Professor: Paul Skokowski
Stanford University
Bldg 200, Rm 230, 4-6pm
Office Hours: Thursdays 9:30-11:30 AM
Autumn 2008


This is a preliminary schedule and will change.

Neural Reductionism and Neural Skepticism

Week 1, Sept 23rd:
Hobbes, Of Sense
Patricia Churchland, Can Neurobiology Teach us Anything about Consciousness?
Paul and Patricia Churchland, Intertheoretic Reduction: A Neuroscientist's Field Guide
Paul Churchland, Eliminative Materialism and the Propositional Attitudes, also here.
Gold and Stoljar, A neuron doctrine in the philosophy of neuroscience. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 22(5), 1999.
Further Suggested Reading:
Jerry Fodor, Special Sciences, in Ned Block (ed.), Readings in the Philosophy of Psychology, Vol. 1

Week 2, Sept 30th:
Chalmers, The Puzzle of Conscious Experience, Scientific American 273(6):80-6, 1995.
Nagel, What is it Like to be a Bat?, The Philosophical Review, LXXXIII(4), 435-450. Another version here.
Ned Block, Comparing Theories of Consciousness, Forthcoming in Gazzaniga (ed.) The Cognitive Neurosciences IV, MIT Press.
Place, Is Consciousness a Brain Process?, British Journal of Psychology 47:44-50, 1956.
Smart, Sensations and Brain Processes, Philosophical Review 68:141-56, 1959.
Further Suggested Reading:
Putnam, The Nature of Mental States (or: Psychological Predicates, Art, Mind, and Religion, 1965.) - here.

Neural Correlates of Consciousness I

Week 3, Tue, Oct 7th:
David Chalmers, What is a Neural Correlate of Consciousness? in Metzinger (ed.), The Neuronal
Correlates of Consciousness, MIT, 2000.
Noë and Thompson, Are There Neural Correlates of Consciousness? Journal of Consciousness Studies.
Lau, Are We Studying Consciousness Yet? In Frontiers of Consciousness, OUP, Davies and Weiskrantz (eds.)
Chalmers, Facing up to the Hard Problem of Consciousness, Journal of Consciousness Studies, 2(3): 35-40, 1995.

Thought Insertion, and Thought as a Motor Process

Week 4, Oct. 14th:
Guest Speaker: John Campbell, UC Berkeley
Campbell, J., Schizophrenia, the Space of Reasons, and Thinking as a Motor Process. The Monist, 82(4): 609-625, 1999.
Vosgerau, G. and Newen, A.,Thoughts, Motor Actions, and the Self. Mind and Language, 22(1): 22-43, 2007.
Campbell, J., The First Person, Embodiment, and the Certainty that One Exists. The Monist, 87, 475-488, 2004.
Langland-Hassan, P., Fractured Phenomenologies: Thought Insertion, Inner Speech, and the Puzzle of Extraneity. Mind and Language, 23(4): 369-401, 2008.

Neural Correlates of Consciousness II

Week 5, Oct 21st:
Revonsuo, A., Can Functional Brain Imaging Discover Consciousness?, Journal of Consciousness Studies, 8(3):3-23, 2001.
Rees, Can Philosophy Discover Consciousness in the Brain?, Journal of Consciousness Studies, 8(3): 35-40, 2001.
Rees, Kreiman and Koch, Neural Correlates of Consciousness in Humans, Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 3:261-269, 2002, and here
Mole et al., Faces and Brains: The Limitations of Brain Scanning in Cognitive Science, Philosophical Psychology, Vol. 20, No. 2, April 2007, pp. 197207.
Dan Lloyd, Functional MRI and the Study of Human Consciousness, J. Cog. Neuro. 14(6): 818-831, 2002.

Week 6, Monday, Oct 27th:
* * * * NO CLASS: See week 9 * * * *

Connectionism

Week 7, Nov 4th: (Tentative)
Guest Speaker: Jay McClelland, Stanford
McClelland and Cleeremans, Consciousness and Connectionist Models. To appear in T. Bayne, A. Cleeremans & P. Wilken (Eds.), The Oxford Companion to Consciousness, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Ramsey, Stich,and Garon, Connectionism, Eliminativism and the Future of Folk Psychology, in Philosophy and Connectionist Theory, (1991)
Skokowski, Structural Content: A Naturalistic Approach to Implicit Belief. Philosophy of Science, 2004.
Skokowski, Networks with Attitudes. Artificial Intelligence and Society, Fall 2007.
Van Gelder, What is the D in PDP?: A Survey of the Concept of Distribution, in Philosophy and Connectionist Theory, 1991.
Further Suggested Reading:
McClelland, Rumelhart, & Hinton, The Appeal of Parallel Distributed Processing. Parallel distributed processing, Vol. I, MIT Press, 1986.

Externalism I

Week 8, Nov 11th:
M. Tye, Ten Problems of Consciousness, Ch. 1-3, p. 3-92
F. Dretske, Naturalizing the Mind, Ch. 1, 2; p. 1-64
Jackson, Epiphenomenal Qualia, Philosophical Quarterly 32:127-36, 1982.
Skokowski, Thinking Outside the Room
Further Suggested Reading:
G.E. Moore, The Refutation of Idealism, Mind, 12, (1903).
Hurley, Varieties of Externalism, in Menary (ed.), The Extended Mind.
Dretske, Change Blindness

Searle's Biological Naturalism

Week 9, Monday, Nov 17th:
Guest Speaker: John Searle, UC Berkeley
Searle, J. Consciousness. Ann. Rev. Neurosci. 23:557-78, (2000). (Choose Annual Reviews, Neuroscience, to download).
Searle, J. How to Study Consciousness Scientifically. Brain Research Reviews 16:379-387, 1998.
Further suggested readings:
Searle, J. Free Will as a Problem in Neurobiology.

Externalism II

Week 9, Tuesday, Nov 18th:
Kripke, Naming and Necessity, Lecture III, 144-155. (Search for 'Descartes'. Read from the previous paragraph through the last paragraph before the Addendum.)
M. Aydede, Pain
Tye, Pains
Tye, Another Look at Representationalism about Pain
Skokowski, Is the Pain in Jane Felt Mainly in her Brain?
Dretske, The Epistemology of Pain, here.

Week 10, Nov 25th:
* * * * Thanksgiving Week - NO CLASS * * * *

Week 11, Thursday, Dec 4th:
Guest Speaker: Ned Block, NYU
Ned Block, Comparing Theories of Consciousness, Forthcoming in Gazzaniga (ed.) The Cognitive Neurosciences IV, MIT Press.



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