PHIL 63.001 – FYS: Mind, Brain, and Consciousness
Instructor: Ram Neta. This course meets TR 9:30 – 10:45 a.m. in PE 2066.
Many features of human consciousness are puzzling. Why are people so ready to believe extraordinary claims on the basis of virtually no evidence whatsoever, but unwilling to accept the reality of well-documented phenomena? Why are people repulsed by some very ordinary biological phenomena but not by others? Why do people dream about some things rather than others? Why is it that ordinary events can sometimes make people anxious, even when they can face serious danger with equanimity? Why do we find some things funny and other things not? And why do people feel compelled to act in ways that they know perfectly well will prove disastrous to them? This course will examine psychodynamic theories that attempt to explain these phenomena, and then consider how these features of consciousness end up reflected in philosophy.