Greetings Toronto Philosophers,
We are coming along in our attempt to tackle the philosophy of mind. As you may know we have been diligently (in some cases loosely) going through the Berkely lecture series of philosopher John Searle. So far we have solved the mind-body problem, explained the phenomenon of consciousness, and created a complete AI program. Just kidding : ) However, we are having fun and have pondered some intriguing questions about our own nature and the nature of existence in general. There are 2 sessions left, plenty of time to jump in! Sure you will have to plow through 29 lectures... Actually, just check out the 3 audio lectures from iTunesU as listed below and we'll catch you up as necessary. Please note these are really easy to download and are free!
In case you don't get a chance to listen to these or don't have access these are the questions we'll be discussing: What is the problem of the freedom of the will? Do we need to try and reconcile our scientific view of the external world (seemingly deterministic causal structure) with our internal experience as agents experiencing a range of options and consciously making choices. It seems (as Searle says) that the causal picture for intentional decision-making is not sufficient to fix particular outcomes. Or is it? And this leads to the second part of our discussion: is our experience as rational agents true? What about evidence from hypnosis and split brain patients? How does our known ability to confabulate rational reports affect our view of our own rationality? And if rationality as solely an epiphenomenon is not believable what's left?
Here's how to access the lectures:
-Go to iTunes Store
-Click on iTunesU from top menu
-Click on Universities & Colleges, right sidebar
-Click on UC Berkeley
-Click on Spring 2011 Courses
-There you will find Philosophy 132, by John R. Searle (Note: it doesn't say philosophy of mind)
Here's what to listen to for our next session:
Hope you enjoy!