Alma College
Below: Course Description | Grades & Requirements | Calendar
 COG180:
My classroom is rated R: lectures & discussion may include adult themes and language.
Topics in Cognitive Science
The Mystery of 
Consciousness
INSTRUCTOR: Larry Hauser
email:  hauser@alma.edu
Office:  SAC B-28: Phone: 7308
Office Hours: Tu & Th: 10:30-11:20am 
or by appointment

LH's Virtual Office:: http://members.aol.com/lshauser/virtoff.html

Alma Online Forums: http://cicero.com.alma.edu/webx
from Jerusalem by William Blake

TEXT: John R. Searle, The Mystery of Consciousness.  New York Review of Books
ONLINE READINGS: See Course Calendar Below

COURSE DESCRIPTION

Perhaps no notion has a stronger claim, intuitively, to lie at the heart of what our talk of self or mind or thought or experience signifies than consciousness; and no notion has proven as scientifically opaque and intractable.  Historically, failed introspectionist attempts to study consciousness directly, in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, led to a behaviorist reaction.  This, for most of the twentieth century, put the study of consciousness beyond the pale of scientific respectability.  However, near the close of the twentieth and, now, at the beginning of the twenty first century, "the study of consciousness has again become respectable, indeed," according to Searle, "almost central, as a subject of investigation in philosophy, psychology, cognitive science, and even neuroscience" (p. xi).  In this course we will consider several contemporary attempts to make scientific sense of consciousness in the light of Searle's analyses and criticisms of them: attempts by Francis Crick, Gerald Edelman, Roger Penrose, Daniel Dennett, David Chalmers, and Israel Rosenfield.  Dennett's and Chalmers' replies to Searle's criticisms and the viability of Searle's own "biological naturalist" approach will also be considered.

GRADES WILL BE BASED ON

ASSIGNMENT
DUE DATES & EXPLANATIONS
 VALUE
Homework & Participation
Attendance, Forum Contributions, Other.
3/8 of course
Term Paper
Tuesday, Apr. 17
3/8 of course
Presentation
As Scheduled
1/4 of course

 
APPROXIMATE COURSE CALENDAR
Class meets 4:00-5:20 Th: SAC 103: note exceptions below 
MON
TUE
WED
THU
FRI
Jan. 8
Jan. 9
Jan. 10
Course Overview (session 0)
The Lonely: video & discussion.
Jan. 12
Jan. 15
Jan. 16
Jan. 17
Facing up to the Problem of Consciousness by David Chalmers: 
http://www.u.arizona.edu/~chalmers/papers/facing.html
Jan. 19
Jan. 22
Jan. 23
Jan. 24
Searle, Preface:  xi-xv.  Chap. 1: 
Consciousness as a Biological Problem: 1-18
Jan. 26
Jan. 29
Jan. 30
Jan. 31
Chap. 2: Francis Crick, The Binding Problem, 
and the  of 40hz Hypothesis: pp. 19-36
Feb.
Feb. 5
Feb. 6
Feb. 7
Chap. 3: Gerald Edelman on 
Reentry Mapping:  37-52
Feb. 9
Feb. 12
Feb. 13
Feb. 14
Chap. 4: Roger Penrose, Kurt Gödel, 
and the Cytoskeletans: 53-89
Feb. 16
Feb. 19
Feb. 23
Feb. 21
Chap. 5: Consciousness Denied: 
Daniel Dennett's Approach: 95-115
Feb. 23
Feb. 26
Spring Break!
Feb. 28
Spring Break!
Mar. 2
Mar. 5
Mar. 6
Mar. 7
Dennett v. Searle: 115-132.  Dennett v. Chalmers: 
http://ase.tufts.edu/cogstud/papers/chalmers.htm
Mar. 9
Mar. 12
Mar. 13
Mar. 14
Chap. 6 David Chalmers and 
the Conscious Mind: 133-163
Mar. 16
Mar. 19
Mar. 20
Mar. 21
Chalmers v. Searle: 163-176
http://www.u.arizona.edu/~chalmers/book/searle-response2.html
Mar. 23
Mar. 26
Mar. 27
Mar. 28
Chap. 7: Israel Rosenfield, Body Image & Self: 177-186.  Disorders of Consciousness: http://www.u.arizona.edu/~chalmers/resources.html
Mar. 30
Apr. 2
Moving Forward on the Problem of Consciousness:
http://www.u.arizona.edu/~chalmers/papers/moving.html
Apr. 4
Honors
Day
Apr. 6
Apr. 9
Apr. 10
Apr. 11
Chapter 8: How to Transform the Mystery of Consciousness
 into the Problem of Consciousness: 187-216
Apr. 13
Api. 16
Term Papers Due: Discussion
Apr. 18
Finals Week
Apr. 20
MON
TUE
WED
THU
FRI
Final Examination Schedule: http://www.alma.edu/services/registrar/exams.php
Alma College Academic Integrity Policy: http://www.alma.edu/services/studentaffairs/section1.htm#Academic Integrity
 -
Online Resources
Field Guide to the Philosophy of Mind: http://www.uniroma3.it/kant/field/
Center for Consciousness Studies: http://www.consciousness.arizona.edu/
Unauthorized Supplementary Philosophy of Mind Companion: http://www.wutsamada.com/phlmind/companion.htm