PHIL 343  Philosophy of Mind

Fall Semester 2011 | DAY


INSTRUCTOR  Jill McIntosh, WMC 5606




  • Philosophy of Mind: Classical and Contemporary Readings.  David J. Chalmers (ed.), Oxford University Press, 2002
  • Philosophy of Mind. 3rd edition. Jaegwon Kim, Westview Press, 2010
  • Possibly, works posted on-line or put on reserve, so made available for printing or photocopying.


  • Writing Philosophy: A Guide for Canadian Students.  Lewis Vaughn and Jillian Scott McIntosh, Oxford University Press, 2009

This book will be particularly useful if you are relatively new to writing philosophy papers.  If you’re an old hand, then not so much.  Flip through it and decide.



“It requires a very unusual mind to undertake the analysis of the obvious.”  Alfred North Whitehead

The subject matter of this course is not all “obvious,” but surely you think (or thought prior to taking some philosophy) that you know the workings of your own mind, at least quite a lot of the time, and that other humans have minds in much the way you do.  But what is a “mind”?  To avoid the impression that a mind is an object of some sort, perhaps a better question is what makes a state a mental state?  What is the relationship between mental states and physical states (the mind/body problem)?  What sorts of things can “have” mental states?  How do we account for the intentionality (the “aboutness,” if you will) of some (all?) mental states?  Are any mental states causally efficacious?  What is consciousness and can we (and if so, how might we) explain it?  Deliciously, not one of these questions has a fully-agreed-upon answer.  We will aim for a critical overview of some of the main contemporary contenders.



  • Participation: 20%
  • First essay: 25%
  • Midterm: 25%
  • Second essay: 30%


Note: Students will be required to submit written work to for plagiarism-checking and also, possibly, for anonymous peer review or as the basis for class discussion.

Note: Course prerequisites are PHIL 100W; and one of PHIL 201, PHIL 203, or COGS 200.