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Mind-Body Philosophy

Explore how the brain creates your experience of reality with an award-winning Professor of Philosophy.
Mind-Body Philosophy is rated 4.7 out of 5 by 49.
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Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Impression! Excellent command of the topic. Delivery is impartial and balanced. Content presentation is informative and clear.
Date published: 2024-04-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Outstanding in Every Way incl Scope , Recent Facts Patrick Grim is an outstanding lecturer. There is near zero wastage of time so this this course is VERY dense. The scope is huge. It is really more like scopeS (plural). An example is even the inclusion of the philosophy of philosophy. I have had many philosophy course (6 in college) plus Great Courses. What I can say is that Patrick Grim is one of THE most careful philosophers. Always exposing with explicitness what underlies (anything: questions, implications, claims, thought experiments). So even if (unlikely that it is) that you are not interested in mind or body issues, this course is a PARADIGM of Philosophy DONE WELL. Done best as is possible in fact. The only other encounter I have had with such meticulous excellence is "Paradox Lost" book (not the one of same initial title on quantum theory) but by Michael Huemer ISBN 978-3-319-.90489-4 These two (that book I cited and this course) are the very most excellently performed philosophy I have encountered. I have also studied cognitive psychology and perception. There were recent results in neuroscience in this course that were new to me and quite shocking. Beyond their surprise they are CRUCIAL. (I first encountered Libet's experiment in Scientific American -- result = FIRST readiness potential in brain SECOND You decided (350 milliseconds AFTER the readiness potential occurred THIRD movement of finger.) That wasn't new to me but I had no idea that WAY EARLIER before Libet there was another experiment that had a slide projector carousel moving NOT due to person pushing button for next slide but triggered by the subject's detected readiness potential. The PUNCHLINE here (and Grim also uses the word 'puncline' a couple times) is that Progessor Grim is THOROUGH TOO. Nobody else I have read that mentions Libet and goes on to discuss the shocking result has mentioned that earlier carousel slide projector experiment. (By the way, all subjects said that the slide projector had pre=cognition; and it was true: it LITERALLY read the subjects' minds.) THOROUGH | HUGE SCOPES | AMAZING NEW FACTS, FINDINGS | PHILOSOPHY DONE AS EXCELLENTLY AS POSSIBLE <-- This is a course to cherish, to savor, to be informed and to also learn -- at both the content-level and the meta-level.
Date published: 2023-09-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Mind Opening I am content to be left with insatiable ravenous curiosity.
Date published: 2022-11-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent teacher this course is a great follow up to Masters in Greek Thought: Socrates, Plato and Aristotle. this teacher is very easy to understand And helps us understand ourselves.
Date published: 2021-08-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A wonderful course for novices and intermediates. Pros • Clear and comprehensive exposition of the material. • An annotated bibliography containing ample references. • The lectures are filmed well, within a fitting setting, with varying camera angles, and with useful graphic aids. Cons • The annotations for the bibliography are short. Sometimes I have to look further for an adequate explanation of the book's content. • There's no place in honest inquiry and discourse for such ideas as Compatibilism and the Chinese Room argument. • There's no place in honest and discourse for
Date published: 2021-06-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fascinating and Thorough! I really enjoyed Dr. Grim's treatment of this fascinating topic. It was very balanced; Dr. Grim presented all views impartially and didn't really try to editorialize until the final lecture. It had many recent neurophysiological findings as well as ancient views from different cultures. I was glad that Dr. Grim did synthesize an approach to advancng the field in the last lecture. The coursebook has a great bibliography that reviews each reference.I have read several books on this topic and this course was the best synthesis by far!
Date published: 2021-02-08
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Superficial debunking of Freud and Jung No psychologists like Freud and Jung connected dream life to waking life. To dismiss them as being debunked without any appreciation or referral to their viewpoints except a few superficial sentences does not do justice to their work and ongoing schools of thought that regard dreams as realities in their own right. Psychological insight is restricted to materialist philosophy which is valuable but incomplete.
Date published: 2020-09-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Highly recommended for clearing a pathway to understanding the problem of the mind! I was highly engaged throughout each lecture! Professor Grimm has an approach that made this course highly intriguing!
Date published: 2020-07-19
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How is it that our very physical brain creates the very subjective experience we call reality? That is the mind-body problem. In Mind-Body Philosophy, award-winning Professor Patrick Grim of SUNY Stony Brook leads an exhilarating tour through millennia of philosophy and science addressing one of life's greatest conundrums. What is consciousness and how does it arise? Can we really rely on our perceptions of the world around us? What is the answer to the mind-body problem? You'll be surprised.


Patrick Grim

In the end, imagining a world of fact without value is quite nearly impossible for creatures like us. Our lives are woven in terms of the things we value.


State University of New York, Stony Brook

Dr. Patrick Grim is Distinguished Teaching Professor of Philosophy at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. He graduated with highest honors in anthropology and philosophy from the University of California, Santa Cruz. He was named a Fulbright Fellow to the University of St. Andrews, Scotland, from which he earned his B.Phil. He earned his Ph.D. from Boston University. Professor Grim is the recipient of several honors and awards. In addition to being named SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor, Dr. Grim has been awarded the President and Chancellor's awards for excellence in teaching and was elected to the Academy of Teachers and Scholars. The Weinberg Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of Michigan in 2006, Professor Grim has also held visiting fellowships at the Center for Complex Systems at Michigan and at the Center for Philosophy of Science at the University of Pittsburgh. Professor Grim, author of The Incomplete Universe: Totality, Knowledge, and Truth; coauthor of The Philosophical Computer: Exploratory Essays in Philosophical Computer Modeling; and editor of the forthcoming Mind and Consciousness: 5 Questions, is widely published in scholarly journals. He is the founder and coeditor of 25 volumes of The Philosopher's Annual, an anthology of the best articles published in philosophy each year.

By This Professor

Mind-Body Philosophy
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Mind-Body Philosophy


Mind, Body, and Questions of Consciousness

01: Mind, Body, and Questions of Consciousness

The 3.5 pounds of gray matter in your skull processes all the information you need to live and thrive-from the functioning of your physical body to your relationships with loved ones. But how can the physical matter of the brain create the subjective experience of your life? That is the mind-body problem....

32 min
Mind and Body in Greek Philosophy

02: Mind and Body in Greek Philosophy

Humans have been asking this question for thousands of years: exactly how are we related to the world around us? Learn what modern Western thought inherited from the Greeks and how the theories of Pythagoras, Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle still affect our thinking and questioning today....

31 min
Eastern Perspectives on Mind and Body

03: Eastern Perspectives on Mind and Body

Western philosophers want to understand how the physical brain produces the reality of subjective experience. But Hindu and Buddhist traditions don't recognize that same dualism. Unlike the Western attempt to discover the truth of how things are, Eastern philosophy takes a more practical line of inquiry, examining how to best live....

31 min
Using the Body to Shape the Mind

04: Using the Body to Shape the Mind

We tend to think of the mind being in charge of, and giving instructions to, the body. But is it possible for the body to direct the mind? Learn how the Eastern practical disciplines of yoga and meditation and Western habits of physical exercise can affect the brain and the mind....

32 min
History of the Soul

05: History of the Soul

While the concept of the soul has been of great philosophical importance over the millennia, it is not addressed by contemporary brain science or philosophy of the mind. Learn why William James encouraged people to believe in the soul if they wanted to, but "exiled" the subject from the concerns of modern psychology....

32 min
How Descartes Divided Mental from Physical

06: How Descartes Divided Mental from Physical

How can you know with absolute certainty that you exist? Rene Descartes famously answered: "I think; therefore I am." He also suggested a complete split between the mind and the physical body. The vast and sharply divided responses to Descartes' dualism still influence the ways in which we address the mind-body problem today....

31 min
Mistakes about Our Own Consciousness

07: Mistakes about Our Own Consciousness

One thing we know we can count on is the validity of our everyday experiences. After all, we know what we see, hear, feel, and think on a daily basis, right? You'll be surprised to learn how wrong we can be even about the realm of experience itself and our own everyday consciousness....

29 min
Strange Cases of Consciousness

08: Strange Cases of Consciousness

The study of individuals with unusual brains-e.g., those with split brains, color-blindness, face-blindness, synesthesia-has revealed brain modularity, differentiation, blending, and other mechanisms of consciousness. Do we really see with our eyes? Learn how the brain's organization affects even our most basic perception of the world around us....

30 min
Altered States of Consciousness

09: Altered States of Consciousness

Learn what dreams, lucid dreams, hallucinations, and other altered states teach us about brain structure and function. Why do so many hallucinations include the same geometric shapes? And after thousands of years of inquiry, do we finally understand the purpose of our dreams? Do dreams help us remember-or forget?...

32 min
Memory, Mind, and Brain

10: Memory, Mind, and Brain

Philosopher John Locke suggested it is your continuous sequence of memories that allows you to be "you." But what is memory and how is it related to our emotions and dreams? Learn about the many different ways in which the brain stores the information we later retrieve and experience as memory....

31 min
Self-Consciousness and the Self

11: Self-Consciousness and the Self

Throughout the centuries, philosophers and scientists have tried to come to a definitive understanding of the self and self-consciousness-and failed. The exciting intellectual journey through these theories and experiments will lead you to a new way of seeing yourself and the world around you....

31 min
Rival Psychologies of the Mind

12: Rival Psychologies of the Mind

William James, Sigmund Freud, and Wilhelm Wundt all aimed for a science of consciousness in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, differing significantly in ideas and methodology. Learn why Wundt left the strongest mark on contemporary psychology, with the neuroscience revolution of the early 21st century picking up where he left off....

33 min
The Enigma of Free Will

13: The Enigma of Free Will

Our daily experiences tell us we are acting with a free will. But you'll be surprised to learn what quantum mechanics and the latest studies in readiness potential reveal about our decision making. Is it possible that scientific inquiry is just not germane to the ongoing philosophical conundrum of free will and determinism?...

30 min
Emotions: Where Mind and Body Meet

14: Emotions: Where Mind and Body Meet

We all know emotions can affect the body-e.g., heart-pounding fear, tears of joy. But can the physical body affect emotions as well? And could emotions be a requirement for rationality itself? You'll be surprised by the latest research on the very complex relationships between body, mind, and emotions....

31 min
Could a Machine Be Conscious?

15: Could a Machine Be Conscious?

Twentieth-century mathematicians Alan Turing and Ludwig Wittgenstein both asked: "Could machines think?" Learn how they addressed the complex concepts of language, thinking, intelligence, and consciousness. All contemporary computers and the fields of artificial intelligence and neural networks trace their origin to Turing. But Wittgenstein seems to have the last word....

31 min
Computational Approaches to the Mind

16: Computational Approaches to the Mind

Since the development of computers, philosophers and scientists have wondered what we could learn about our own intelligence by building intelligent machines. What would a deeper understanding of computerized information processing teach us about the brain? Learn how these lines of inquiry have led to revelations about the differences between mind and machine....

32 min
A Guided Tour of the Brain

17: A Guided Tour of the Brain

We've made great strides in understanding the workings of the human brain-from our hundred billion neurons and trillions of synapses, to more than fifty neurotransmitters. We've mapped the brain and described each part's functions, evolutionary history, and methods of processing information. What have we not "found?" Consciousness....

30 min
Thinking Body and Extended Mind

18: Thinking Body and Extended Mind

We believe our thinking occurs in our head. But that's not entirely correct. In some cases, cognition requires the mind and the body. Learn how the autonomic, sympathetic, and enteric nervous systems are linked to the brain, integrated into the body, and even connected to the outside world....

30 min
Francis Crick and Binding in the Brain

19: Francis Crick and Binding in the Brain

After co-discovering the structure of DNA, Francis Crick turned his research attention to mind-body issues. He believed in an underlying physical structure of consciousness. Was he correct? Learn about Crick's spatial and temporal hypotheses, the binding problem, and the reasons he pinned his research hopes on the brain's claustrum....

32 min
Clues on Consciousness from Anesthesiology

20: Clues on Consciousness from Anesthesiology

Is it possible to be certain that an anesthetized patient who seems to be unconscious during surgery really feels no pain? Our current knowledge of the brain, anesthetics, and consciousness at the physiological level, lead us to believe in the possibility of building a "consciousness monitor." But would even that answer the question?...

30 min
Of Mind, Materialism, and Zombies

21: Of Mind, Materialism, and Zombies

Distinguished philosophers and scientists have put forth their theories about the mind, brain, and consciousness. But each of us has our own views, too. "Zombie thought experiments" can help identify and clarify your personal views. Are you a materialist, a reductionist, an anti-behaviorist, a dualist? Find out with the aid of your zombie scorecard....

31 min
Thought Experiments against Materialism

22: Thought Experiments against Materialism

Physicists and philosophers have relied on thought experiments for thousands of years. But how can we know that the conclusions of thought experiments are correct? Learn what Leibniz' "giant head" and Searle's "Chinese room" can tell us about materialism-and about the potential limits of our own imaginations....

30 min
Consciousness and the Explanatory Gap

23: Consciousness and the Explanatory Gap

What is consciousness? Some scientists describe it as a result of emergence, much as "wet" emerges from a particular combination of hydrogen and oxygen atoms. Others propose that neuroscience will answer the question-or already has. But is it possible that the human mind will never be able to fully understand its own consciousness?...

31 min
A Philosophical Science of Consciousness?

24: A Philosophical Science of Consciousness?

If the fields of brain science, philosophy, and artificial intelligence alone cannot adequately explain the relationship between body, mind, and consciousness, where should we look for answers? Explore an exciting step-by-step approach that could lead to a richer understanding of the process of consciousness and its evolutionary benefit....

35 min