Topics in the Philosophy of Mind

Martin Lipman

Giovanni Merlo


Full Syllabus



In this course we will examine some of the core topics in contemporary philosophy of mind. Can science explain the existence of consciousness? Is the content of our mental states fully determined by intrinsic features of our brains? What is perception and what do perceptual illusions and hallucinations tell us about its functioning? Is introspection some kind of perception? And if so, does it give us ‘privileged’ access to our own mind? For each of these questions, we will consider alternative viewpoints and critically assess arguments for and against. Students will learn to understand a wide range of philosophical views on the nature of mind, and develop their own thinking on the topic.



Readings will be made available here: Password will be provided in class. Further readings on the topics will be suggested during the lectures. The sources of the assigned readings can be found in the full syllabus (see link above).



April 6: G: introduction + functionalism D. Lewis: ‘Mad Pain and Martial Pain’
April 13: M: externalism T. Burge: ‘Individualism and the Mental’ [Excerpt]
April 20: G: externalism II J. Fodor: ‘Individualism and Supervenience’
April 27: G: consciousness F. Jackson: ‘Epiphenomenal Qualia’
May 4: G: consciousness II B. Loar: ‘Phenomenal States’
May 11: M: introduction to perception M. Martin: ‘Perceptual Content’
May 18: Pfingsten: no class
May 25: M: transparency G. Harman: ‘The Intrinsic Quality of Experience’
June 1: M: phenomenism N. Block: ‘Mental Paint’
June 8: M: non-conceptual content T. Crane: ‘The Nonconceptual Content of Experience’
June 15: M: rich content S. Siegel: ‘What Properties are Represented in Experience?’
June 22: M: naïve realism M. Nudds: ‘Recent Work in Perception: Naïve Realism and its Opponents’
June 29: G: self-knowledge W. Alston: ‘Varieties of Privileged Access’
July 6: G: models for introspection A. Byrne: ‘Introspection’ [Excerpt]
E. Schwitzgebel: ‘Introspection, What?’ [Excerpt]
July 13: G: privileged access T. Williamson: ‘Cognitive Homelessness’