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In this course, an old crusty philosophical problem crashes headlong into bleeding edge science. In 1,000 years from now, will we have a decisive answer to the philosophical puzzle of consciousness? I don't know. But in 100 years from now, it seems likely we'll have made exciting progress into the relevant neuroscience and hopefully AI as well. This is why I believe most contemporary academics - as Professor Grim states in the first lecture - are materialists; this is where the progress is.
Also for this reason, the course really starts for me around Lecture 15 on machine consciousness, and is in full swing by Lecture 19 on the binding problem. So if you are not impressed in the beginning, make sure to ride it out. Lecture 21 "Of Mind, Materialism, and Zombies" is probably the coolest and most intellectually stimulating single Great Courses lecture. Not to say the course as a whole is the best - although it's up there - but that one lecture alone is worth this whole course.
If you are interested in further (very technical and abstract) knowledge on the AI side of this coin, I highly recommend On Intelligence by Jeff Hawkins, as I fully recommend this course.
30 of 34 people found this review helpful
This is an excellent survey of the subject. it is the sort of experience which will leave you wanting to find further courses on the various thinkers and ideas he discusses.
4 of 6 people found this review helpful
I really appreciate the structure of this book. The concepts are complicated, so 30 minute chapters meant I could listen and then digest. It's given me an overall understanding without overwhelming me. And I can go back and listen to a chapter of relevance to my studies.