AP/PHIL4080 3.0 M: Seminar in the Philosophy of Mind

Offered by: PHIL


Winter 2022






Calendar Description / Prerequisite / Co-Requisite

An intensive examination of one or more of the following topics: mind and body, thinking, intention, emotions, desires, motives, reasons, dispositions, memory, the unconscious and the concept of a person. Prerequisites: At least nine credits in philosophy, including AP/PHIL 3260 3.00 or AP/PHIL 3265 3.00.

Course Start Up

Course Websites hosted on York's "eClass" are accessible to students during the first week of the term. It takes two business days from the time of your enrolment to access your course website. Course materials begin to be released on the course website during the first week. To log in to your eClass course visit the York U eClass Portal and login with your Student Passport York Account. If you are creating and participating in Zoom meetings you may also go directly to the York U Zoom Portal.

For further course Start Up details, review the Next Steps webpage.

For IT support, students may contact University Information Technology Client Services via askit@yorku.ca or (416) 736-5800. Please also visit Students Getting Started UIT or the Getting Help - UIT webpages.

    Additional Course Instructor/Contact Details

Dr. Alexandru Manafu
Office hours: Information about office hours will be made available on EClass

    Expanded Course Description

An up-to-date survey of various theories of consciousness, including identity theories, higher-order thought theories, representational theories, Dennett’s multiple drafts theory, attention-based theories, panpsychism, etc.

    Required Course Text / Readings

William Seager, Theories of Consciousness: An Introduction and Assessment, Routledge, 2016. Second Edition. (available online through YorkU Library)

    Weighting of Course

Participation: 10%

Critical reflections on the readings (no more than 10), each worth 1%: 10%

Presentation: 15%

Essay outline: 20%

Final essay: 45%

The presentation is mandatory, and it must take place in person, at the time convened upon.

Participation involves sharing personal viewpoints, bringing up questions, answering to questions, making connections, making observations, and in general being active in the seminar.

Before every lecture you will have the opportunity to submit a critical reflection piece (250-500 words) which must focus on that week's readings. In your reflection piece, you may raise an objection to a philosophical idea expressed in the reading; explore some implications of the idea, make connections/comparisons with other ideas, etc, etc, etc. Even though the reflection pieces are short, you are expected to devote a significant amount of time thinking about and writing them. They must engage deeply with the readings. No late critical reflections will be accepted. After you have submitted your critical reflection it is not possible to revise it or to submit another one. Click "submit" only after you have decided you are happy with your work. You can submit a maximum of 10 reflections overall in this course. Good or great submissions = 1%. Mediocre = 0.5%. Superficial = 0%.

Late penalty for essays or essay drafts: 10% of the value of the essay/ each 24 hours.

NOTE: The grading scheme will be respected strictly. I do not typically go back and revise the grades of students, nor do I allow students to do extra work to boost their marks. The main reason for this is my commitment to treat all students equally.

    Organization of the Course

Seminar (in person, attendance required)

    Course Learning Objectives

 By the end of this course, students will:

  • Be able to summarize, analyze, compare and engage critically with the various theories of consciousness;
  • Parse and evaluate complex arguments in the metaphysics of consciousness;
  • Be able to formulate your own views about the nature of consciousness and defend them with cogent arguments.
    Relevant Links / Resources