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Summary

The nature of the mind lies at the heart of the eternal human quest for understanding. What does it mean to think? What is the relation between mind and body, and where do we draw the line between “physical” and “mental”? With an enthusiastic and scholarly approach, Professor Andrew Pessin of Connecticut College addresses these and other questions, including a studied look at beliefs, consciousness, groundbreaking thought experiments, and whether or not computers can ever truly think.

©2010 Andrew Pessin (P)2010 Recorded Books, LLC

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Enjoyable and easy to follow.

I thought these lectures presented the main theories of consciousness in a way that made sense. It was a logical series of arguments that I could follow and I felt I got a lot from it.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • ken
  • 26-05-11

Definitely "mind" expanding!

This is an excellent introduction to a subject that many people consider too arcane or esoteric to even consider. If that is you, then re-consider! Professor Pessin is an engaging narrator, and takes the listener on a thought-provoking tour of our inner life, tackling such fascinating subjects as mind-body dualism, qualia, and the mysteries of consciousness. I can't recommend it highly enough!!

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Thomas
  • 12-11-10

Clear and Well Balanced

The issues in philosophy of mind are some of the most challenging and important to our understanding of ourselves as human beings that one can imagine. Are our minds illusions, our thoughts determined? Do we have free will? Prof. Pessin's lectures present the issues and principal voices in this field with clarity. He aims to let the great variety of points of view be understood on their own terms. He carefully provides the listener with resources for grasping both the excitement of the field and the difficult choices to be made.

9 of 11 people found this review helpful

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  • Gary
  • 25-02-18

Gives coherence to my understanding of experience

Each lecture from this series starts with the Professor telling you what he’s going to tell you, then he tells you, then he summarizes what he told you. This Professor needs to do that since he is not shy about making the listener learn things he didn’t know already.

Last week I listened to ‘Philosophy of Mind’ from The Great Courses presented by Patrick Grim. This lecture by Pessin was superior because it was more challenging and there was a narrative that tied each lecture together. Most people would probably look at the dates of the two lectures and choose Grim’s because it is more recent. That would be a mistake in my opinion.

Oddly, all of the thought experiments that were presented in the Grim lectures were also in this lecture, but Pessin presented them in such a way that they did not irritate me and I found them worthwhile especially after he dissects them.

There was another reason I really preferred this lecture series. Pessin tied together a broad swath of information (Freud to Skinner, Necessity to contingency, logic to reality, and syntax to semantics) in to a coherence such that I could start putting together a lot of the other books that I’ve been reading lately in such way that I didn’t realize was possible. That is no mean feat.

I did read one comment on Goodreads on this lecture and the person mentions these are difficult lectures. That person is probably right. Most people haven’t listened to two ‘Philosophy of Mind’ lectures within one week and for some this lecture might be difficult. For those people who are not familiar with the thought experiments or concepts such as: Searle’s Chinese Room, Mary’s black & white world, morning star being the evening star, zombies, Fodor's LOT, and ‘what’s it like to be a bat’, I would recommend Grim’s course instead. For most others who really want to learn from the best and who don't mind being challenged, I would recommend this one.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • William Guichard
  • 03-05-14

Good overview

Any additional comments?

Only thing I want to complain about is the lack of idealism but it does cover good amount of ground.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 21-08-16

Good introductory course

Well structured, well performed, an overall interesting listen. Could have been a bit longer, but offered a taste of the fundamentals of the discipline nonetheless.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful