Mind-Body Problem

In this module we will be looking at a variety of views about the nature of mind and mental phenomena and how they fit into the natural world. We begin with the classic Cartesian account of mind: substance dualism. We then turn to current behaviourist, materialist, and functionalist theories of mind. Some of the larger questions we will be considering are: How are behaviour and mental states related to each other? Are minds really just brains? Or are minds more like computers? Next we consider some of the most perplexing problems about the nature of mind, currently occupying philosophers. How do our thoughts manage to reach out to reality and be about anything, especially when many of the things we think about don’t exist? Do mental states have causal powers of their own or do they somehow inherit them from the causal powers of brains? And finally, can we explain the mystery of consciousness?