Philosophy of Mind: Brains, Consciousness, and Thinking Machines : The Great Courses: Understanding the Mind

  • by The Great Courses
  • Narrated by Professor Patrick Grim
  • Series: The Great Courses: Understanding the Mind
  • 12 hrs and 30 mins
  • Lecture

Publisher's Summary

The quest to understand the mind has motivated some of history's most profound thinkers. But only in our own time are we beginning to see the true complexity of this quest, as today's philosophers draw on the latest evidence from neuroscience, psychology, artificial intelligence, linguistics, and other fields to probe deeply into the inner workings of the mind.
These 24 stimulating lectures from an award-winning teacher and honored scholar present a clear, systematic, and compelling introduction to the philosophy of mind, exploring all of the major theories, including: Dualism, which holds that body and mind are separate substances; Behaviorism and Functionalism, which stress behavior and interactions with the world as clues to the mind's inner workings;. Idealism, the view that the physical world is an illusion and that only the mental realm exists; and the "antitheories" of mind, which posit that subjective mental experiences are fundamentally inexplicable and will always remain a mystery.
Examining the most intriguing questions and influential theories in what can often be a complex and often controversial intellectual terrain, Professor Grim sorts out the different approaches to give you the pros and cons of each.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Stellar Course!

Patrick Grim lays out the groundwork for the major theories of mind and what it means to "be a being" with consciousness, thought and self-awareness. The course is in depth and very intelligent, but presented in such a way as the layman will readily understand if proper attention is paid to the lectures. Another Great Courses lecture series on this same topic by John Searle will also be quite helpful. Once these courses are completed, I recommend moving on to books like Brian Christian's The Most Human Human (artificial intelligence) V. Ramachandran's The Tell-Tale Brain (neurology and pathology) and Sebastian Seung's Connectome (neurology, consciousness and self-awareness). Grim and Searle's lectures are a wonderful place to start on the pathway to learning about the philosophy, physiology and psychology of who you are and why there is a "who you are."
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- Douglas "College English professor who loves classic literature, psychology, neurology and hates pop trash like Twilight and Fifty Shades of Grey."

Outstanding lectures on a challenging topic

What does Professor Patrick Grim bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Patrick Grim doe a very good job of making these very complex ideas palpable to the non-scientist and non-philosopher. He sounds a little like John Lithgow (not a complaint, just an observation.)


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- neilium

Book Details

  • Release Date: 07-08-2013
  • Publisher: The Great Courses