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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.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

©2008 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2008 The Great Courses

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Best of the best

Great listen for a paradigm shift.
Patrick Grim is my favorite presenter regarding this sort of material.

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  • Douglas
  • 2013-08-25

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."

45 of 47 people found this review helpful

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  • Peter
  • 2015-10-28

Terrific! but serious Audio Problem!

This lecture series is a fascinating survey of the problem of understanding the mind. It is broad and specific and surprisingly clear despite the high pace and density. unfortunately, there are stereo audio experiments and the file is mono, which ruins them. The information is comprehensible without them but less directly. it is unfortunate that the technology is reducing the quality of experience, not improving it.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Paul Hylander
  • 2016-06-16

Not much meat to this course

The narrator was good and I enjoyed listening to him. But at the end I did not feel I got much out of the course. It really just seemed to be a series of comparisons between various theories with much time spent on theories that have been for the most part thrown out. I was hoping that the course would spend most of its time delving into the most current theories and really explaining what the state of the art is on thinking, mind, and consciousness. But if that is what you area looking for, you will be disappointed.

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

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  • Jeongsup
  • 2014-05-04

Brilliant book for A.I. and human-mind enthusiast

What made the experience of listening to Philosophy of Mind: Brains, Consciousness, and Thinking Machines the most enjoyable?

Full of useful content, no time-waster fill-ins

What was one of the most memorable moments of Philosophy of Mind: Brains, Consciousness, and Thinking Machines?

Story about the history of A.I., and how messy the architecture of human consciousness really is

What about Professor Patrick Grim’s performance did you like?

Clear voice, easy pace (not too slow, not too fast)

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Daniel
  • 2014-02-03

Extensive and well rounded

What did you love best about Philosophy of Mind: Brains, Consciousness, and Thinking Machines?

I liked that this series took the problem of consciousness seriously, as David Chalmers might say. This series of lectures doesn't present the hard problem and then give a easy-problem solution dressed up as something that crosses the explanatory gap as some authors do.

What other book might you compare Philosophy of Mind: Brains, Consciousness, and Thinking Machines to and why?

The Implications of consciousness (also part of the great courses)

What about Professor Patrick Grim’s performance did you like?

He gave a fair amount of time to various perspectives.

What’s the most interesting tidbit you’ve picked up from this book?

The most interesting tidbit that there are actually antitheories - it has always seemed clear to me that science could never give an illuminating explanation, solution to the mind/body problem. But I didn't know that such a stance rests on something called and antitheory.

Any additional comments?

Sometimes the way the professor talks can REALLY get on my nerves for some reason and that actually made listening to this somewhat less enjoyable than other professors like Daniel Robinson.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Lucas Moller
  • 2015-09-23

Intriguing survey of philosophy & consciousness

Broken into a background in western philosophy, a history of computation, and the struggles to uncover the complexity of "consciousness", this series provides a versatile and provoking study of how we contemplate our own sense of self.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Sam
  • 2015-05-30

Brilliant

Professor Grim is a great find. Hugely enjoyable series of lectures, worth listening to at whatever level you think of yourself at, but especially good for surveying the fundamentals of a rapidly evolving area of philosophy and science.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Timothy B Sullivan
  • 2014-06-19

great series

Where does Philosophy of Mind: Brains, Consciousness, and Thinking Machines rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

among the best - fascinating and well-presented

What did you like best about this story?

relevant to my work as a psychiatrist and residency training director

What about Professor Patrick Grim’s performance did you like?

energetic performance, useful analogies, explanations, history (of ideas) and context

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

no

Any additional comments?

I like this series so much I'm using it in a course

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • neilium
  • 2014-11-24

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.)

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • Marcus Chacos
  • 2017-10-31

Interesting...

An interesting philosophical discussion on consciousness. I did learn a lot and enjoyed the program, though would have preferred less focus on artificial intelligence and mathematics with an investigation on spiritual aspects instead.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful