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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?

Mind-Body Philosophy is a series that is currently running and has 1 seasons (24 episodes). The series first aired on January 6, 2017.

Mind-Body Philosophy is available for streaming on the The Great Courses Signature Collection website, both individual episodes and full seasons. You can also watch Mind-Body Philosophy on demand at Amazon Prime, Amazon, The Roku Channel online.

The Great Courses Signature Collection
1 Season, 24 Episodes
January 6, 2017
Cast: Patrick Grim
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Mind-Body Philosophy Full Episode Guide

  • 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?

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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?

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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?

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.#Music, Philosophy & Religion¬†