Spring Semester 2008
Textbooks: Mind: A Brief Introduction by
John Searle, 2004. [Here's the cover of the paperback, but it's OK to
use the hard cover edition.]
Conversation on Consciousness: What the Best Minds Think about the
Brain, Free Will, and What it Means to be Human," by Susan
Blackmore, Oxford University Paperback, 2007. The interviews are
in alphabetical order.
Textbooks: Mind: A Brief Introduction by John Searle, 2004. [Here's the cover of the paperback, but it's OK to use the hard cover edition.]
and also Conversation on Consciousness: What the Best Minds Think about the Brain, Free Will, and What it Means to be Human," by Susan Blackmore, Oxford University Paperback, 2007. The interviews are in alphabetical order.
Many of our readings are on the Internet.
A few leaflets and articles will be handed out during the
semester. Nearly all the material you will read in our course was
written in the period from 1950 to 2007. For non-required background
reading, I recommend the thin paperback Introducing Consciousness
by David Papineau and Howard Selina. It covers all the topics in this
course, but in a brief and informal way; each page of their book is
one-third text and two-thirds graphics.
Your grade will be determined by class participation (5%), three homework sets (16% each), an
eight-page essay (23%) and a final exam (24%). Click
here for a schedule of when you will be
doing these. These dates are intended to be firm even if some
changes are made later to what topic we cover in what week. Your attendance
in class is not a requirement in our course; but the class
participation points are for occasionally taking part in class
discussions and activities. There will be no true-false or
multiple choice questions on assignments this semester.
Professor: My office is in
Mendocino Hall, room 3022. My weekly office hours are TTh 10:30 to 12:00. Feel free to stop by at any of those times
(or to call). If
those hours are inconvenient for you, then I can arrange an appointment
for an alternative time. You can send me e-mail at
firstname.lastname@example.org; or call my office at 278-7384; or
call the Philosophy
Department Office at 278-6424.
The fastest way to contact me is by email. My personal web page is at
Student outcome goals: The hope is that by the end of the semester you will have achieved the following goals:
Advice on exams: Robert Benchley
arrived for his
final exam in international law at Harvard University to find that the test
consisted of this one instruction: Discuss the arbitration of the
international fisheries problem in respect to hatcheries protocol and
dragnet and procedure as it affects (a) the point of view of the United
States and (b) the point of view of Great Britain. Benchley was
desperate, but he was also honest, and he wrote: I know nothing about
the point of view of Great Britain in the arbitration of the
international fisheries problem, and nothing about the point of view of
the United States. I shall therefore discuss the question from the
point of view of the fish.
Late assignments, and make-up assignments: I
realize that during your college career you occasionally may be unable
to complete an assignment on time. If this happens in our course,
contact me as soon as you are able. If you provide me with a good
reason for missing an assignment (illness, accident, etc.), then I'll use your grade on the final
exam as your missing grade. For homework assignments, there is a grade
penalty of one-third of a letter grade per 24-hour period beginning at
the class time the assignment is due. Examples.
If you turn in the assignment a few hours after it is due, then your A becomes an A-.
Instead, if you turn in the same assignment 39 hours late, then your A
becomes a B+. Weekends count. You may turn in your late work
by email. No late work will be accepted
after the answer pages have been handed out even if you are not in
class when it is handed out (often this will be at the
next class meeting) nor after the answers are discussed in class. There
will be no make-up tests nor make-up homework.
Weekly topics and reading assignments: Click here.
Contact me if you would like more information about the course.
The web address of this file is