VV030 Philosophy and Theories of the Mind

Faculty of Informatics
Autumn 2019
Extent and Intensity
2/0. 2 credit(s) (plus extra credits for completion). Type of Completion: z (credit).
Teacher(s)
prof. PhDr. Ing. Miloslav Dokulil, DrSc. (lecturer)
Guaranteed by
prof. PhDr. Ing. Miloslav Dokulil, DrSc.
Department of Machine Learning and Data Processing - Faculty of Informatics
Contact Person: prof. PhDr. Ing. Miloslav Dokulil, DrSc.
Supplier department: Department of Machine Learning and Data Processing - Faculty of Informatics
Timetable
Wed 12:00–13:50 A318, except Wed 6. 11. ; and Wed 6. 11. 12:00–13:50 B517
Prerequisites
It is advisory to follow courses VB007-VB008 first (or, at least, BV008); but it is not a necessary precondition.
Course Enrolment Limitations
The course is also offered to the students of the fields other than those the course is directly associated with.
The capacity limit for the course is 52 student(s).
Current registration and enrolment status: enrolled: 17/52, only registered: 0/52, only registered with preference (fields directly associated with the programme): 0/52
Fields of study the course is directly associated with
there are 71 fields of study the course is directly associated with, display
Course objectives
As a starting point serves here the heritage of Descartes, but the gravity of this exposition can be found in the mind-body problem in the form relevant in the last twenty five years of development.
Learning outcomes
As a starting point serves here the heritage of Descartes, but the gravity of this exposition can be found in the mind-body problem in the form relevant in the last twenty five years of development.
Syllabus
  • Overture to the problem: metaphysical dualism (Descartes). Is man without "soul" a machine only? (La Mettrie.) Reaction on the relativist scepticism concerning the extraordinariness of human life in between of other living organisms (vitalism, teleology). Functionalism as a "modern" response to the problem of the status of the mind as a mediium elaborating information. (Fodor, et al.)
  • How neurons communicate. Also treating the possibility for man of being only a "vehicle" for the transportation of genetic information (Dawkins).
  • Can we aspire to overcome solipsism? (Berkeley.) Is not all thinking only a "rather complicated" reaction to external stimuli? (From Pavlov to Skinner.)
  • Intentionality (its Dennett version). Can we speak about the "specificity" of the human mind? (Is it given by "consciousness"? Searle's solution of the problem. Chalmers' idea of a "fundamental theory". Calvin's "cerebral symphony" and his "cerebral code"). Is there anything exclusive in man at all? (Popper's "World 3". Crick's message about his looking for a soul. Churchland's neuron computerization as a representation of our social world. Penrose's metaphor about the "Emperor's New Clothes".) About memetics, too.
Literature
  • Literature (books, etc.) is being assigned during the lectures.
Teaching methods
Successive explanation based on texts to be accessed electronically; the lesson is usually introduced by some updating (news illustrating interesting cases, etc., and anniversaries of important classics in the field).
Assessment methods
2 credits after submitting 1 essay
Language of instruction
Czech
Further comments (probably available only in Czech)
Study Materials
The course is taught once in two years.
The course is also listed under the following terms Spring 2003, Spring 2005, Spring 2007, Spring 2009, Autumn 2010, Autumn 2012, Autumn 2014, Autumn 2016, Autumn 2018.
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