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Philosophy of Mind & Language (NCHPH633)

30 Credits

Philosophy of Mind & Language introduces students to foundational concepts, problems, and theories in the philosophy of mind and language. Beginning with the mind: What, if anything, is it, and how does it relate to the body?

What is the nature of a mental state, such as a qualitative sensation (e.g. pain) or a propositional attitude (e.g. belief)? What is consciousness? Can there be mental causation, and if so, how? Is there an asymmetry between our knowledge of our own minds and those of others?

Turning to language: How are the meanings of our expressions fixed? Are they determined by what’s in our heads or are these meanings partly constituted by our environment and our practices of interpreting each other? And how do the meanings of simple expressions combine to determine those of more complex ones, especially in indirect discourse and ascriptions of propositional attitudes?

The Philosophy of Mind & Language course is an optional third-year course that can form part of the Philosophy undergraduate minor or major at the College. The College takes a more personal approach to education, teaching students through small group seminars and one-to-one tutorials to ensure the best possible learning environment and academic achievement. Philosophy can be combined as a major or minor with any of Art History, Creative Writing, Economics, English, History, Law, or Politics and IR at the College.