Animal consciousness: Philosophy of mind


  1. Evaluate one of Descartes’ arguments for substance dualism. Do you agree with
    the argument?
  2. Pick ONE of the following theories: dualism; behaviorism; the mind/brain
    identity theory; the computational theory; or functionalism. What is one of the
    main objections to this theory? Do you agree with the objection?
  3. Explain Searle’s Chinese room argument. Do you agree with the argument?
  4. What kinds of things have minds? Do any plants have minds? Do insects have
    minds? Do some robots have minds? What are the minimal conditions that a
    system must meet to count as having a mind?
  5. Evaluate Clark and Chalmers’ extended mind hypothesis. Are the arguments
    they provide convincing?
  6. What are some of the ethical ramifications of the extended mind hypothesis?
  7. What kinds of cognitive enhancements are a threat to personal identity?
  8. What is phenomenal consciousness? Can it be explained in purely physical terms?
  9. Does Jackson’s thought experiment involving ‘Mary the neuroscientist’ show that
    phenomenal consciousness is a non-physical feature of the mind?
  10. What kinds of nonhuman animals are self-aware, if any? What would constitute
    evidence for self-awareness?
  11. Are any nonhuman animals phenomenally conscious? What would constitute
    evidence for phenomenal consciousness in a nonhuman animal?
  12. What is the Turing test? Is it a good test?

Sample Solution