This is the web page for the philosophy of mind section of the first-year course Introduction to Philosophy at Edinburgh University. The main aim of this page is to provide copies of the handouts, and links to papers and other texts that will be useful for students taking the course. These readings are designed to supplement those given in the course textbook, Reason & Responsibility, edd. Feinberg and Shafer-Landau. An excellent collection of readings is Mind and Cognition, ed. William Lycan (First Edition 1990, Second Edition 1999) which is on reserve in the library. Reference on this page to 'Lycan' is to this collection. If you have suggestions for things that might be posted here, please let me know by emailing me at


Handouts are in pdf (Acrobat) format:

  • Handout 1: Dualism & Monism

  • Handout 2: Behaviourism

  • Handout 3: Identity Theory & Functionalism

  • Handout 4: The Inverted Spectrum

  • Handout 5: Jackson's Knowledge Argument

  • Handout 6: Dennett & The Intentional Stance

  • Handout 7: Eliminative Materialism

    Useful Sites for Philosophy of Mind in General

    A good introduction to the philosophy of mind is provided by the MIT Encyclopedia of Cognitive Science. This used to be freely available on the web. However, now that the paper version has been published, MIT has withdrawn free online access to the articles. So much for the universalism of the web. You can, however, get to abstracts of the available material, and these do provide good bibliographies. You will need to register, but that is quick, and they promise not to distribute your email address to anyone else. There is also a good page of links to other philosophy of mind sites. Another source of general information is provided by the online Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. The coverage here is still rather patchy though, where various authors (myself included) have failed to produce the entries that they agreed to produce.

    David Chalmers, author of the much discussed recent book The Conscious Mind, has complied a list of nearly 500 Online Papers on Consciousness. Some of these links no longer work, but most do. He also has a list of Individuals with online papers in philosophy, many of whom work in philosophy of mind. Another directory of cognitive science articles is Cogprints. A broader International Directory of Online Philosophy Papers is maintained by Joe Lau at the University of Hong Kong.

    Two cognitive science journals, which all contain much philosophy of mind, are available online. Psyche was founded as a purely online journal. Since 1993 Behavioural and Brain Sciences, probably the most important cognitve science journal, has published its main articles online.

    Back issues of many major philosophy journals are now available online through something called the JSTOR database. To get them you will need to use a machine that is licenced to access that database. Any machine that is operating through a University of Edinburgh server should work. (Some of the links given below make use of this database, so the same holds for them.) Journals available include The Journal of Philosophy, The Philosophical Review, Mind, Nous, Philosophical Perspectives,The Philosophical Quarterly and Philosophy and Phenomenological Research. There is normally a 'moving wall' system employed: only issues more than five years old (or, exceptionally, three) can be obtained.


    There is not a great deal available on dualism. A good but contentious introduction, with some rather quirky parapsychology, is The Mind-Brain Problem by John Beloff.

    A contemporary argument for epiphenomenalism is given by Frank Jackson in his Epiphenomenal Qualia. (Note: we shall be looking at this article properly when we discuss objections to functionalism; it is also reprinted in the Lycan collection.) Another famous contemporary defence of a dualist position is given by Saul Kripke in Naming and Necessity, Lecture Three. This is not available online.


    Behaviourism is not currently a fashionable position. I haven't yet found very much online. B F Skinner has his own Skinner Foundation, but I can't actually find any of his work available online. A good discussion is provided by Ned Block in N. Block. 'Psychologism and Behaviorism' Philosophical Review 90, pp. 5-43.

    The Turing Test

    Turing's original 1950 article is 'Computing Machinery and Intelligence'.
    There are many contemporary discussions. Ned Block's 'Psychologism and Behaviorism' is long but useful. A list of other online papers is given in Chalmer's 'Online Papers on Consciousness: The Turing Test'.

    Details of the annual competition in which machines actually try to pass the Turing test can be found at the Loebner Prize. That page also provides many interesting links.

    The Identity Theory

    The two seminal articles here are U.T Place's 'Is Consciousness a Brain Process?' (in the Lycan volume) and J.J.C. Smart's 'Sensations and Brain Processes'.


    A couple of general pieces on functionalism:

  • N. Block, 'What is Functionalism'
  • N. Block, 'The Mind as the Software of the Brain'

    On the link between functionalism and behaviourism:

  • N. Block. 'Psychologism and Behaviorism' Philosophical Review 90, pp. 5-43.
  • J. Fodor and N. Block 'What Psychological States Are Not' Philosophical Review 81 (1972)

    Other online readings:

  • T. Nagel 'Armstrong on the Mind', Philosophical Review 79 (1970)
  • D. Lewis, 'An Argument for the Identity Theory', Journal of Philosophy 63, (1966) (Note that despite Lewis's title, he is generally regarded as a functionalist. )

    Other relevant Lycan readings:

  • Putnam, 'The Nature of Mental States'
  • Block, 'Troubles with Functionalism' (also in D Rosenthal (ed.) The Nature of Mind)
  • Sober, 'Putting the Function Back into Functionalism'
  • Lycan, 'The Continuity of Levels of Nature'

    The Inverted Spectrum

  • Shoemaker, 'The Inverted Spectrum' Journal of Philosophy 79 (1982)
  • Harman 'The Intrinsic Quality of Experience' (only in the Second Edition)
  • Block 'Inverted Earth' (only in the Second Edition)

    Jackson's Knowledge Argument

  • Jackson, 'Epiphenomenal Qualia'
  • Jackson, 'What Mary Didn't Know', Journal Of Philosophy 83 (1986) (A reply to some criticisms of his 'Epiphenomenal Qualia' paper).

    For a further list of relevant online papers see David Chalmers' Online Papers on Consciousness: The Knowledge Argument.

    Qualia in General

    For an excellent general review see Michael Tye's Stanford Encyclopedia entry Qualia.

    For many other references see David Chalmer's : Online Papers on Consciousness: Qualia.


    Dennett's home page has a list of online papers of his. The version of 'Real Patterns' given there though has been cut short (perhaps because it's now reprinted in a Penguin volume). So try the JSTOR 'Real Patterns' instead. For a simple version of the Game of Life that you can play directly on the web try John Conway's Game of Life (in Java).

    Eliminativism & Connectionism

    Chuchland's most straightforward presentation of his view is in Eliminative Materalism and the Propositional Attitudes, also reprinted in Lycan. An argument that connectionism entails the elimination of folk psychological concepts is presented in Ramsey, Stich and Garon's 'Connectionism, Eliminativism and the Future of Folk Psychology', Philosophical Perspectives 4 (1990), pp. 499-533.

    This page is maintained by Richard Holton, email Last updated 3 March 2001.