Loyola University Chicago

Department of Philosophy

PHIL 445: Philosophy of Mind

PHIL 445: Philosophy of Mind

The General Catalog Description

Prepares students for advanced work on philosophical issues concerning the problem of consciousness and the nature of mental functions.


PHIL 445: Philosophy of Mind

James Murphy

This course will start with a general introduction to contemporary philosophy of mind, using Heil’s introductory textbook and his anthology as a back-up resource.  We will cover a wide variety of issues.  The second half of the course will tackle the issues addressed by Sterelny’s book, focusing primarily on the place or function of mind in nature.  We may also address the embodiment of mind and cognition.


PHIL 445: Philosophy of Mind

Joseph Vukov

The philosophy of mind studies several issues falling under one wide-ranging question: what is the relationship between your conscious experiences and the neural and bodily processes that underlie those experiences? This course explores contemporary issues in philosophy of mind from a distinctively philosophical perspective, and also brings in resources from psychology, neuroscience, and the history of philosophy when relevant. The course will be organized around two main units: Mind-Body Theories and Philosophy of Cognitive Science and Consciousness.

  • Mind-Body Theories: Are your brain and mind the same thing? Or are they different? If so, how are they different? Mind-body theories attempt to answer these kinds of questions. In this course, we will explore influential historical and contemporary mind-body theories, the arguments in favor of them, and the objections against them.
  • Philosophy of Cognitive Science and Consciousness: Cognitive science uses empirical methods to study our mental lives. The philosophy of cognitive science and consciousness reflects on the philosophical issues raised by this study. This semester, we will focus on several questions in the philosophy of cognitive science and consciousness, which may include the following: are minds like computers? In what ways do our minds depend on our environments and cultures? To what extent are we aware of our own mental lives? How best to understand consciousness?