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Time, Self and Mind (ATS1835) Introduction to Philosophy B Semester 2, 2015 Dr Ron Gallagher Office Hours: Clayton: Thu 1-2pm.

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Presentation on theme: "Time, Self and Mind (ATS1835) Introduction to Philosophy B Semester 2, 2015 Dr Ron Gallagher Office Hours: Clayton: Thu 1-2pm."— Presentation transcript:

1 Time, Self and Mind (ATS1835) Introduction to Philosophy B Semester 2, 2015 Dr Ron Gallagher Office Hours: Clayton: Thu 1-2pm E664(please email for appointment) Week 1: Introduction and Time Travel

2 WeekBeginningTopicAssessmentReadings W127-Jul-14 Time - Introduction and Time Travel Readings 1.1 & 1.2 W203-Aug-14 Time Travel; Freedom, Determinism, and Indeterminism Readings 1.5 & 1.6 (sections 1-2 & 6-10) W310-Aug-14 Logic Primer AT1 Mon August 10, 10amReadings 2.1-2.2 W417-Aug-14 Mind- Dualism versus Materialism about the Mind Readings 3.1-3.2 W524-Aug-14 Mind - Can Machines Think? Computationalism and the Turing Test Readings 3.3 W631-Aug-14 Mind - Can Machines Think? Objections to Computationalism AT2 Mon Aug 31st, 10am Reading 3.4 W707-Sep-14 Self - Lockean Psychological Theory and Identity Readings 4.1-4.3 W814-Sep-14 Self - Identity, the Body & Person Stages Readings 4.4-4.5 W921-Sep-14 Knowledge What is Knowledge and Gettier's Account AT3 Mon Sep 21st, 10amReadings 5.1-5.2 28-Sep-14 Mid-semester Break W1005-Oct-14 Knowledge - Nozick's Account and Scepticism Readings 5.3-5.4 W1112-Oct-14 Knowledge - The Moorean Response AT4 Essay Mon Oct 12th Readings 5.5 W1219-Oct-14 Revision (no lectures, no tutorials)

3 Hurdle Requirements to Pass this Unit Your overall grade for the unit must be at least 50% You must achieve a grade of 40% or more on the final exam You must not fail more than one assessment task (not including Reading Quizzes) You cannot miss more than 3 tutorials Assessment Due DateAssessment TaskValue Mondays 10amReading Quizzes (10)5% (bonus) Mon Aug 10thAT1 (@600 words)10% Mon Aug 31stAT2 (@600 words)10% Mon Sep 21stAT3 (@600 words)10% Mon Oct 12thAT4 Essay (@1250 words)30% TBA Exam40%

4 4 Clayton Lectures and Tutorials


6 6 Caulfield Lectures and Tutorials

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9 Lewis Reading Taylor reading – ask me after class. Wittgenstein on Metaphysics: Metaphysics is philosophy misunderstood as natural science (TLP 6.53 and 6.111) “The characteristic of a metaphysical question is that we express an unclarity about the grammar of words in the form of a scientific question.” (BB 35)

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20 Different Kinds of (Im)Possibility  (Current) Psychological impossibility ≈ what’s impossible given one’s current psychological abilities  Speaking fluent Turkish  Designing a microwave  Believing that there’s a giant pink elephant in the room  Technological impossibility ≈ what’s impossible given our current level of technology  Curing cancer  Humans travelling faster then the speed of sound with a non-jet or rocket propelled engine 20

21 Different Kinds of Possibility  Physical impossibility ≈ what’s impossible given the laws of nature  Turning lead into gold; freezing water at room temperature  The destruction of energy (would violate the law of the conservation of energy)  Travelling faster than the speed of light (maybe)  Logical impossibility ≈ what’s impossible given the laws of logic  Non-contradiction: there are no true contradictions.  Excluded Middle: every statement is either true or false.  Leibniz's Law: two objects are identical if and only if everything true of one is true of the other. 21

22 The Argument Structure (1) If TT is possible, then X. (2) It is not possible that X Therefore, (3) TT is not possible. For X substitute:- ‘you could change the past’ ‘you can be distinct from yourself’ ‘you can revisit the same moment of time in the past’ ‘there would be unexplainable events (causal loops)’ you can both know the future and change the future’. 22

23 The Change the Past Argument (Grandfather Paradox) (1) If TT is possible, then you could change the past. (2) But it's not possible to change the past (for that would require a true contradiction, violating a law of logic). Therefore, (3) TT is not possible. 23


25 The Two-Times Paradox Time travel seems like it can take time – How long did it take Harry Potter to TT? Suppose it takes 1 hr to travel 1 year into the past. E.g., To TT, then, we’d have to be moving both forward (100hrs) & backward (100yrs)in time! Is this possible? Yes, if time is two dimensional 25 20131913 100hr Trip

26 Two Dimensional Time 26 Time II Time I Normal Progress Through Time 1913 2013 Damit! I was trying to get over there! Time Traveler’s Progress

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31 Is it logically possible for a balloon of solid lead to float in the air? Possible Worlds - Modal Logic


33 Which is logically possible? Faster than light travel Time Travel ESP That we are all on a beach now! 2 + 2 = 5 This sentence is false if true

34 34 Essay Topics Write on one of the following topics. 1. Time Travel How can David Lewis's solution to the Grandfather paradox be used to solve the problem of the logically pernicious self-inhibitor discussed in your Unit Reader? Be sure to clearly lay out the problem and solution to the grandfather paradox, draw the parallels between that paradox and the logically pernicious self-inhibitor problem. Required reading: David Lewis, 'The Paradoxes of Time Travel’ 2. Free Will Consider this argument: 'If the future is already determined, then it must be possible to know in advance what will happen. But, if that is so, then free will is impossible.' Do you agree? Is there any satisfactory way of acting freely if determinism is true? Required reading: David Lewis, 'The Paradoxes of time Travel' Richard Taylor, 'Freedom, Determinism and Fate' Kane, ‘Libertarianism’ 3. Thinking Machines On the question whether machines can think, Descartes and Turing are in strong disagreement. Evaluate the arguments on either side. Does Searle's 'Chinese Room' argument help resolve the debate? Required reading: Alan Turing, 'Computing Machinery and Intelligence' John Searle, 'Minds, Brains and Programs' (Quotes from Descartes can be found in the Notes to Part 3 of the Study Guide.)

35 35 Essay Topics continued 4. The Self If you teletransport to another planet, we might wonder whether the resulting individual is you---whether you've really survived. Parfit argues that identity is not what matters when we consider our futures in such cases. How does he reach this conclusion by considering the problem of fission? Is this a good argument? Is there more reason to think that identity does matter to survival? (Here you might focus more on Williams or Lewis, rather than discussing them both in detail.) Required reading: Derek Parfit, 'Personal Identity' Bernard Williams, 'The Self and the Future' David Lewis, 'Survival and Identity’ 5. Knowledge Gettier raises some serious challenges for the traditional account of knowledge. Nozick develops his tracking account in part to answer the problems identified by Gettier. After explaining both Gettier's challenge and Nozick's proposal, evaluate the strength of Nozick's proposal as a response to Gettier's challenge. Required reading: Edmund Gettier, 'Is Justified True Belief Knowledge?' Robert Nozick, 'Knowledge and Skepticism'

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