CERTIFICATE COURSE FOR EVEN SEMESTER 2009-10
DEPT. OF PSYCHOLOGY, CHRIST UNIVERSITY
IN COLLABORATION WITH
Saturdays: 2 pm – 6 pm (Dec 2009 – Mar 2010)
Venue: Room No. 303 (Dept. of Psychology- PG Unit)
What makes us think: Conversations on Consciousness will look once again at the veracity of the mind-body divide. Will minds get collapsed to bodies/brains? Will understanding our brains help us know our minds? Or is there an unbridgeable distance between the work of neuroscience and the workings of human consciousness? What is the relation between the facts (or "what is") of natural science, the ‘interpretations’ of social science and the prescriptions (or "what ought to be") of ethics? Can neuroscience throw light on ethics? What are the relations between brain states and psychological experience? What is a mental representation? How does a sign relate to what it signifies? How might subjective experience be constructed rather than discovered? Can biological or cultural evolution be considered progressive? Can we be optimistic about the prospects of connecting matters of the mind to matters of the brain? Would we have one perspective – the perspective of materiality? Or would there be a splitting and a duality of perspectives on human affairs? How does one negotiate between transcendental idealism and mechanical materialism? How does one connect the in vitro and the in vivo? How does one work through objective/subjective, 1st person/3rd person accounts?
Continuum of Disciplines:
Perceptual and Cognitive Psychology
Cultural Studies (including anthropology and semiotics)
Ethics, Religion, and Morality approached from humanistic perspectives
At another level, this course will look at the continuum of disciplines and would try to place psychology as an uncanny in-between in this continuum. This in-between-ness will be seen by the course as the promise of the discipline of psychology (and not its problem). The promise lies in offering us a possible methodology for negotiating between apparently incommensurable disciplinary regimes like philosophy and neurobiology, and historically separated knowledge registers like the human and the natural sciences.
Blackmore, Susan (2006). Conversations on Consciousness: What the best minds think about the brain, free will, and what it means to be human. NY: OUP.
Changeux, Jean-Pierre & Ricoeur, Paul (2000). What makes us think? A neuroscientist and a philosopher argue about ethics, human nature, and the brain. (Translated by M.B. Debevoise). Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press
Chalmers, D. (1996). The conscious mind. New York: Oxford University Press.
Changeux, J. P. (1985/1983). Neuronal man: The biology of mind. New York: Pantheon. (original publication 1983).
Damasio, A. (1999). The feeling of what happens. New York: Harcourt Brace.
Dennett, D. (1991). Consciousness explained. Boston: Little Brown.
Dreyfus, H. (1972). What computers can't do: A critique of artificial reason. New York: Harper and Row.
Nagel, T. (1979). What is it like to be a bat? Moral questions. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Popper, K. and Eccles, J. (1078). The self and its brain. London: Springer Verlag.
Searle, J. (1992). The rediscovery of the mind. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.