Understanding Life and Mind|
Spring 2019 not offered
This advanced seminar explores the philosophical significance of recent developments in evolutionary, developmental, and genomic biology for philosophical and scientific conceptions of mind and language. After initial treatment of preparatory topics such as naturalism and reductionism, the course takes up four primary themes: organism/environment entanglement; relations between genetics, epigenetics, and genomics; developmentalist challenges to orthodox neo-Darwinist conceptions of evolution; and evolutionary approaches to understanding mind and language, especially those that emphasize niche construction and the co-evolution of language and homo sapiens.
||Gen Ed Area Dept:
|Course Format: Seminar||Grading Mode: Student Option|
||Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (PHIL)(PHIL-Philosophy)(PHIL-Social Jus)(SISP)(SISP-ScieDblMjr)
Selections from some of the following:
John Dupre, PROCESSES OF LIFE
Richard Lewontin, THE TRIPLE HELIX
Paul Griffiths and Karel Stotz, GENETICS AND PHILOSOPHY
Evan Thompson, MIND IN LIFE
Massimo Pigliucci and Gerd Muller, eds., THE EXTENDED SYNTHESIS
Susan Oyama, Paul Griffiths, and Russell Gray, eds., CYCLES OF CONTINGENCY
Paul Griffiths and Kim Sterelny, SEX AND DEATH
Kim Sterelny, THOUGHT IN A HOSTILE WORLD
Sonia Sultan, ORGANISM AND ENVIRONMENT
Derek Bickerton, MORE THAN NATURE NEEDS
Joseph Rouse, ARTICULATING THE WORLD
and other articles, including
Kathleen Akins, "Of Sensory Systems and the Aboutness of Mental States"
John Haugeland, "Mind Embodied and Embedded"
Elisabeth Lloyd, "Kanzi, Language, and Evolution"
Daniel Dor and Eva Jablonka, "From Cultural Selection to Genetic Selection"
|Examination and Assignments: |
Seminar presentations to initiate discussion
Final term paper
|Additional Requirements and/or Comments: |
This is an advanced seminar that presupposes both prior work in philosophy, and a basic understanding of contemporary biology (roughly equivalent to BIOL 181-182, or a very strong high school background).