Paul Skokowski - Philosophy of Neuroscience Syllabus - Seminar in Philosophy of Neuroscience

Philosophy of Neuroscience Seminar

Philosophy 167D/267D
Symbolic Systems 206
Winter Quarter 2015
Professor: Paul Skokowski
Stanford University
Tuesdays, Thursdays 11am-12:15pm
Room: Building 260 Room 002
Office Hours: Fridays 9:30-11:30am
Office: Bldg 100, Rm 101G

This is a preliminary syllabus and will change.

Some General Neuroscience Books:
Purves, Brains: How They Seem to Work
Rose, The Future of the Brain
LeDoux, Synaptic Self
Gazzaniga, Tales From Both Sides of the Brain

Recommended Philosophy Books: Available online at Stanford Libraries
Dretske, Naturalizing the Mind
Tye, Ten Problems of Consciousness

Can philosophers talk with neuroscientists? We'll attempt to find out in this course.

Background: Historical Approaches to Philosophy of Neuroscience & Mind

Week 1, Tuesday Jan 6th: Course Overview
Descartes, Passions of the Soul, Sections 17-19 and 30-36
Skokowski, One Philosopher is Correct (Maybe). Australasian Journal of Logic, 2010, 9(1).
Further Suggested Reading:
Descartes, 2nd and 6th Meditations
Hobbes, Of Sense

Week 1, Thursday Jan 8th: Logical Positivism and Behaviorism
Schlick, Positivism and Realism
Further Suggested Reading:
Ryle, Descartes' Myth, from Concept of Mind, 1949.
Wittgenstein, Philosophical Investigations, Sec. 293

Week 2, Tuesday Jan 13th: Identity Theory and Epiphenomenalism
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.
Putnam, Brains and Behavior, here.
Huxley, On the Hypothesis that Animals are Automata
Read from "Thus far, the prepositions" through to "sum of existence." (misspelling: 'prepositions' should read 'propositions'!)
Further Suggested Reading:
Leibniz, The Nature and Communication of Substances (from: New System, and Explanation of the New System)
Gazzaniga, M., The Mind's Past, 1998.
Malebranche, The Search for Truth

Week 2, Thursday Jan 15th: Functionalism
Putnam, The Nature of Mental States (or: Psychological Predicates, Art, Mind, and Religion, 1965.) - here.

Week 3, Tuesday Jan 20th: Functionalism
Block, Troubles with Functionalism, in Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science 9:261-325 (1978), and in Readings in the Philosophy of Psychology, Vol. 1, Ned Block (ed.) Harvard, 1980 - and here.
Read from "Once characterization of functionalism" through sections 1.1 and 1.2, ending with "Call this the Absent Qualia Argument."

Eliminative Materialism

Week 3, Thursday Jan 22nd:
GUEST SPEAKER: JOHN BICKLE, Philosophy, Mississippi State University
Bickle, Reducing mind to molecular pathways - here.
Bickle, A brief history of neuroscience’s actual influences on mind-brain reductionism, Part 1, and Part 2.
Further Suggested Reading:
Bickle, Real Reduction in Real Neuroscience: Metascience, Not Philosophy of Science (and Certainly Not Metaphysics!) - here.

Week 4, Tuesday Jan 27th:

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, and here.
Patricia Churchland, Can Neurobiology Teach Us Anything About Consciousness?
Further Suggested Reading:
Paul and Patricia Churchland, Intertheoretic Reduction: A Neuroscientist's Field Guide
Jerry Fodor, Special Sciences, Synthese, 28(2), 1974, and in Ned Block (ed.), Readings in the Philosophy of Psychology, Vol. 1

Brain and the Hard Problem of Consciousness I

Week 4, Thursday Jan 29th:
Nagel, What is it Like to be a Bat?, The Philosophical Review, LXXXIII(4), 435-450. Another version here.
Humans Can Learn to "See" With Sound, National Geographic, 2010.

Week 5, Tuesday Feb 3rd: * * Note Different Location and Time! * *
* * * Class at 2:15 PM in Wallenberg Hall, Bldg 360, Room 318, Main Quad * * *

Searle, What Your Computer Can’t Know

Further suggested readings:
Searle, J. Consciousness. Ann. Rev. Neurosci. 23:557-78, (2000). (Choose Annual Reviews, Neuroscience, to download).
Searle, Theory of Mind & Darwin’s Legacy, in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2013.
Searle, Minds, Brains, and Programs

Week 5, Thursday Feb 5th:
Chalmers, The Puzzle of Conscious Experience, Scientific American 273(6):80-6, 1995.
Searle, J. How to Study Consciousness Scientifically. Brain Research Reviews 16:379-387, 1998.
Chalmers, Facing up to the Hard Problem of Consciousness, Journal of Consciousness Studies, 2(3): 200-219, 1995.
Further suggested readings:
David Chalmers, What is a Neural Correlate of Consciousness? in Metzinger (ed.), The Neuronal
Correlates of Consciousness, MIT, 2000.

Molyneux's Problem

Week 6, Tuesday Feb 10th:
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.
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.
Locke, 1690, An Essay Concerning Human 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. Book II, Ch. IX "Of Perception."
Sinha and Held, F1000 Medicine Reports, 4:17, September, 2012. Sight Restoration.
Held et al., Nature Neuroscience, 14:5, May 2011. The newly sighted fail to match seen with felt.

Further suggested readings:
Held, R., Visual-Haptic Mapping and the Origin of Cross-Modal Identity, Optometry and Vision Sciences, 86(6) 2009.
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.

Week 6, Friday Feb 13th: * * Note Different Location and Time! * *
GUEST SPEAKER: MICHAEL GAZZANIGA, Director, SAGE Center for the Study of the Mind, UCSB
Class at Stanford Humanities Center, Levinthal Hall, 424 Santa Teresa Street, 12 Noon-1:15 PM.
Gazzaniga, The Split Brain: Rooting Consciousness in Biology

Neuroscience and Free Will

Week 7, Tuesday Feb 17th:
GUEST SPEAKER: BILL NEWSOME, Director, Stanford Neurosciences Institute
Desmurget et al., Movement Intention After Parietal Cortex Stimulation in Humans, Science 324, 2009. Here, after free registration.
Newsome, W., Neuroscience, Explanation and the Problem of Free Will, in Gazzaniga (ed.), The Cognitive Neurosciences IV. Here
Salzman et al., Cortical microstimulation influences perceptual judgements of motion direction, Nature 346(6280), 1990. Here

The Problem of Pain

Week 7, Thursday Feb 19th:
M. Aydede, Pain
Tye, Pains, Sec. 4.5 of Ten Problems of Consciousness.
Tye, Another Look at Representationalism about Pain
Further suggested readings:
Skokowski, Is the Pain in Jane Felt Mainly in her Brain?
Kripke, Naming and Necessity, Lecture III, 144-155. (Search for 'Descartes'. Read from the previous paragraph through the last paragraph before the Addendum.)

Week 8, Tuesday Feb 24th:
Fields, H., Setting the Stage for Pain.
Fields, H., Pain: An Unpleasant Topic.
Suggested Further Reading:
Fields, H., State-Dependent Opioid Control of Pain.

Brain and The Hard Problem of Consciousness II

Week 8, Thursday Feb 26th:

Lau, H, and Rosenthal, D., Empirical support for higher-order theories of conscious awareness, Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 15:8 p.365-373, Aug 2011. [Click on ‘Full text links’ in upper-right, choose Stanford University from pull-down menu, then choose full text or pdf to download.]
Lau, H, Theoretical motivations for investigating the neural correlates of consciousness, WIREs Cognitive Sciences, 2:1 p.1-7, Feb 2011. [Find Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews on Stanford Libraries eJournals section. Search for this article, or for Hakwan Lau.]

Week 9, Tuesday March 3rd:
Are We Studying Consciousness Yet?

Week 9, Thursday March 5th:
Jackson, Epiphenomenal Qualia, Philosophical Quarterly 32:127-36, 1982.
M. Tye, Ten Problems of Consciousness, Ch. 5.
Further suggested reading:
M. Tye, Ten Problems of Consciousness, Ch. 6,7.
Miceli, G., et al. (2001) The dissociation of color from form and function knowledge, Nature Neuroscience 4(6): 662-67.

Week 10, Tuesday March 10th:
* * * Class and BBQ at 5:45 PM at Skokowski House * * *

W. Wu, The Case for Zombie Agency. Mind 122 (485):217-230, (2013)
C. Mole, Illusions, Demonstratives and the Zombie Action Hypothesis. Mind 118 (472):995-1011, 2009. [Find in Stanford Libraries eJournals]
C. Mole, Embodied Demonstratives: A Reply to Wu Mind 122 (485):231-239 (2013)
Further suggested reading:
Binsted et al., Visuomotor system uses target features unavailable to conscious awareness. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 104(31), 12669–12672.

Week 10, Thursday March 12th:
GUEST SPEAKER: WAYNE WU, Associate Director, Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition, Carnegie Mellon University
W. Wu, Attention, Routledge, 2014. Read Ch. 5 and sections 1.5, 1.6 and 1.8 from Ch. 1.
Further suggested reading:
Binsted et al., Visuomotor system uses target features unavailable to conscious awareness. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 104(31), 12669–12672.

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