Course code:



IM - Introductory/Intermediate

Class size limit:


Typically offered:


What is the mind and how does it relate to the body? This two-part question will guide the structure of this introductory course in the philosophy of mind. Other questions that will arise include how can the mind influence the body? Is this distinction between mind and body deep? Is there a single discipline that can tell us what the mind is and, if not, why not? Is science of help? What strategy or method is best suited to understanding the mind? Do other cultures or religions offer insight? Is the mind inherently mysterious and unknowable?

Attempts to understand the mind have vexed and stimulated philosophers, scientists, and others since at least as far back as Descartes. Starting with his work, we’ll explore classic and contemporary texts in western thought, with particular focus on philosophy, but with some psychology, neuroscience and non-western thought. We will cover a number of theories and our own assumptions about this basic and fundamental feature of human life. Some of the main accounts students will gain familiarity with include dualism, materialism, panpsychism, emergence, and phenomenology.

Evaluation will be based on participation, two short response essays, a midterm essay, a final essay, and a final presentation.



Always visit the Registrar's Office for the official course catalog and schedules.