Philosophy of Neuroscience Seminar

Symbolic Systems 206
Instructor: Paul Skokowski
Stanford University
Wednesdays, 4:15-6:00pm
Bldg 160 Rm 321
Office Hours: Friday mornings by appointment
Winter Quarter 2011

This is a preliminary schedule and will change.

Some General Neuroscience Books:
Rose, The Future of the Brain
LeDoux, Synaptic Self

Recommended Philosophy Books:
Dretske, Naturalizing the Mind
Tye, Ten Problems of Consciousness

Historical Approaches to Philosophy of Neuroscience

Week 1, Jan 5th:
Hobbes, Of Sense
Descartes, Passions of the Soul, Sections 17-19 and 30-36
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.

Week 2, Jan 12th:
Gold and Stoljar, A neuron doctrine in the philosophy of neuroscience. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 22(5), 1999.
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.
Jerry Fodor, Special Sciences, Synthese, 28(2), 1974, and in Ned Block (ed.), Readings in the Philosophy of Psychology, Vol. 1
Further Suggested Reading:
Putnam, The Nature of Mental States (or: Psychological Predicates, Art, Mind, and Religion, 1965.) - here.
Skokowski, One Philosopher is Correct (Maybe). Australasian Journal of Logic, 2010, 9(1).

Decision and Brain

Week 3, Jan 19th:
Guest Speaker: Bill Newsome, Stanford Neuroscience
Sugrue, Corrado, and Newsome, "Choosing the Greater of Two Goods: Neural Currencies for Valuation and Decision Making." Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 1995.
Libet, B., Neural Processes in the production of conscious experience. Brain 172 (1979): 96-110.
Further Readings TBA

Neural Skepticism

Week 4, Jan 26th:
Nagel, What is it Like to be a Bat?, The Philosophical Review, LXXXIII(4), 435-450. Another version here.
Jackson, Epiphenomenal Qualia, Philosophical Quarterly 32:127-36, 1982.
Chalmers, The Puzzle of Conscious Experience, Scientific American 273(6):80-6, 1995.
Chalmers, Facing up to the Hard Problem of Consciousness, Journal of Consciousness Studies, 2(3): 35-40, 1995.
Further Suggested Reading:
Ned Block, Comparing Theories of Consciousness, Forthcoming in Gazzaniga (ed.) The Cognitive Neurosciences IV, MIT Press.
Lau, Are We Studying Consciousness Yet? In Frontiers of Consciousness, OUP, Davies and Weiskrantz (eds.)

Brain, Mind and World

Week 5, Feb 2nd:
M. Tye, Ten Problems of Consciousness, Ch. 1-3, p. 3-92
F. Dretske, Naturalizing the Mind, Ch. 1, 2; p. 1-64
Skokowski, Review of 'Naturalizing the Mind', Mind and Language, 11(4), 1996. [Penultimate Draft - PDF]
Further Suggested Reading:
Hurley, Varieties of Externalism, in Menary (ed.), The Extended Mind.
G.E. Moore, The Refutation of Idealism, Mind, 12, (1903).
Skokowski, Thinking Outside the Room
Dretske, Change Blindness

Neurodynamic Global Workspace Theory

Week 6, Feb 9th:
Guest Speaker: Bernard Baars, Neurosciences Institute, San Diego, CA
Baars, B., "In the Theatre of Consciousness" Journal of Consciousness Studies, 4(4) 1997.
Baars, B., "The conscious access hypothesis: origins and recent evidence" Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 6(1) January 2002.

Molyneux's Problem

Week 7, Feb 16th:
Locke, 1693, Letter to William Molyneux, 28 March, in The Correspondence of John Locke (9 vols.), E.S. de Beer (ed.), Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1979, vol. 4, no. 1620.
Locke, 1690, An Essay Concerning Humane Understanding, London, printed by Eliz. Holt, for Thomas Basset. Second edition 1694. Fourth edition 1700, edited with an Introduction by P.H. Nidditch, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1975.
Molyneux, W., 1688, Letter to John Locke, 7 July, in The Correspondence of John Locke (9 vols.), E.S. de Beer (ed.), Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1978, vol. 3, no. 1064.
Molyneux, 1693, Letter to John Locke, 2 March, in The Correspondence of John Locke (9 vols.), E.S. de Beer (ed.), Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1979, vol. 4, no. 1609.
Held, R., Visual-Haptic Mapping and the Origin of Cross-Modal Identity, Optometry and Vision Sciences, 86(6) 2009.
Ostrovsky, Y., Andalman, A. and Sinha, P. (under review). Vision following extended congenital blindness.
Mandavilli, A. Nature, 441, May 2006. Look and Learn.

Further suggested readings:
Wiesel TN, and Hubel DH. (1965). Comparison of the effects of unilateral and bilateral eye closure on cortical unit responses in kittens. J Neurophysiol. 28:1029-1040.
Further readings TBA by:
Wandell, Gregory

Week 8, Feb 23rd:
Guest Speaker: John Campbell, UC Berkeley Philosophy
J. Campbell, Molyneux's Question
J. Van Cleve, Troubles for Radical Transparency
J. Campbell, Information Processing, Phenomenal Consciousness and Molyneux's Question
J. Campbell, Consciousness and Reference

Further suggested readings:
G. Evans, Molyneux's Question. In Gareth Evans (ed.), Collected Papers. Oxford University Press.


Week 9, March 2nd:
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, March 9th:
Guest Speaker: Howard Fields, UCSF Neuroscience
Fields, H., Setting the Stage for Pain.
Fields, H., Understanding How Opioids Contribute to Reward and Analgesia.

Further suggested readings:
Aydede, Some Foundational Problems in the Scientific Study of Pain, Philosophy of Science, 69(S3), 2002.

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