Metaphysics is the study of reality in its most general features. The metaphysics of the mind is therefore the study of the mind in its most general features.
This course will discuss some central themes in the metaphysics of mind: the general contrast between the mental and the non-mental; the various distinctions between the self and the mind and the person; the metaphysical distinctions between object, property, event and process, and how they apply to the mind; the mind-body problem; the problem of consciousness and some proposed solutions.
The course will deal with traditional problems in philosophy, but will focus on some recent proposed solutions to these problems. It is not a historical course, but will attempt to incorporate a historical conception of how these problems or questions arose.
The goal of this course is to explain some of the metaphysical presuppositions of the contemporary philosophical investigation of the mind, the self and the person, and to examine some arguments for and against various metaphysical views of these things.
By the end of this course students who have completed all the requirements will:
— have a good understanding of a number of central metaphysical categories employed in the philosophy of mind: substance, property, event, process;
— have a good understanding of the relevance of these categories to the contemporary discussions of the nature of the mind and the place of the mind in nature
Assessment will be by a mid-term examination with many questions, and an end of term examination with a small number of questions requiring longer answers