Philosophy of Mind
Philosophy of Mind
Academic year 2022/2023
- Course ID
- Alberto Voltolini (Lecturer)
- 2nd year
- Teaching period
- Second semester
- Course disciplinary sector (SSD)
- M-FIL/05 - philosophy and theory of language
- Formal authority
- Type of examination
- Written and oral
- Type of learning unit
- Modular course
- Bioethics and Philosophy of Mind (NEU0282)
Sommario del corso
Students will have to prove to be able to know and to present the main arguments in favour and against the theories and perspectives at stake and to discuss them critically. At the end of the course students will be able to master the logical space of the positions in question, so as to be able to present them also in interdisciplinary perspective (in particular wrt cognitive sciences), and to master the technologies needed for such presentations.
Results of learning outcomes
Students should be able to know and present the main arguments in favour of the examined theories and views, and to know how to discuss them critically. This will be accomplished via oral examination, or via a written text (1000 words max.) on the module’s themes.
The module on philosophy of mind aims at discussing the language faculty, in order to understand what kinds of competence it concerns and to what extent it is genetically implemented. In the module, one will assess Chomsky’s arguments in favour of the idea that syntactic competence is innate, as well as those claiming that one cannot scientifically deal with a part of semantic competence, namely referential competence. One will also evaluate Fodor’s arguments in favour of the innate character of the so-called language of thought, both in its syntactic and in its semantical components. Moreover, one will discuss the debate holding between Chomsky and his collaborators on the one hand and Pinker and his collaborators on the other hand and regarding the issue of what part of the language faculty has a genetic basis. Finally, one will discuss the issue of language understanding from a neuroscience perspective (neurosemantics), by addressing in particular the question of whether the such understanding is amodal, embodied (perceptually-based), or perceptual in nature.
Teacher’s lectures. Depending on the circumstances, the module will be offered in blended modality (either online or in person).
Learning assessment methods
Oral examination or alternatively a written text (1000 words max) on the module’s themes. The evaluation will depend on the following three factors, in a non-exclusive alternative: i) the students' preparation on the module’s themes and their ability to face them critically, ii) their capacity to present such themes, iii) their capacity to ask pertinent and penetrating questions on the programmed texts. This will enable one to test the students' ability both with respect to the learning objectives and with respect to the expected results.
Suggested readings and bibliography
- Comprendere il linguaggio
- Year of publication:
- Il Mulino
- F. Calzavarini, A. Paternoster