HFIK03911U CANCELLED ! FILO, Modul 5: Filosofisk emne: Consciousness naturalized CANCELLED!

Årgang 2018/2019
Engelsk titel

FILO, Module 5: Philosophical Subject: Consciousness naturalized


Kandidatuddannelsen i Filosofi, 2017-ordningen


The naturalistic approach to philosophical questions becomes more and more widespread. Briefly presented philosophical naturalism denotes the epistemological position that philosophical problems have to be construed in the light of our best scientific theories and must be examined by the same methods that science makes available to us. Many naturalists will also add an ontological component that everything in the world should be understood as a product of nature itself. There is no reality that cannot be given a materialistic or physicalistic description. Naturalism can therefore be characterized by the rejection of any form of dualism and the usefulness of transcendental arguments, while naturalists may still disagree about whether or not a priori arguments are naturalistic acceptable.

Based on such a naturalistic view, the course will look into the suggestion that the mind as a natural phenomenon can be fully described in physicalist terms. Important assumptions behind the naturalistic approach to the mind are available in the form of two scientific assumptions. First, the human mind is the result of a long biological evolution, which is formed through variation, selection, and adaptation. In other words mind and consciousness come in degrees.  The second assumption is that neuroscience is gradually able to couple very specific mental activities with different activity patterns in the brain. Therefore the naturalistic approach raises serious questions about the understanding of the alleged phenomena of the mind such as qualia, consciousness, free will and intentionality on a physicalistic basis. One option of understanding that is taken by naturalists is to describe the mind in representational terms. The challenge for a naturalist is therefore to explicate how the conscious mind can have experiences that are have both content and qualitative properties.

During the course we will see how far a naturalist and a representionalist point of view can overcome the so-called explanatory gap between what scientists may observe and what our experiences are like. 


Kandidatuddannelsen i Filosofi, 2017-ordningen:

Modul 5: Filosofisk emne: HFIK03911E

At the course will be read texts by Thomas Nagel, David Chalmers, Frank Jackson, Paul and Patricia Chuchland, Jaegwon Kim,Daniel Dennett, Fred Dretske, Gerald Edelman and others. The basic textbook will be Fred Dretskes Naturalizing the Mind (1995) and my own manuscript The Embedded Brain expected to be published in 2019.

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