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Publisher's Summary

How is it that our brain creates all the subjective experiences of our lives every single day - the experiences we call reality? That is the mind-body problem. In Mind-Body Philosophy, Professor Patrick Grim of the State University of New York at Stony Brook leads an intellectually exhilarating tour through millennia of philosophy and science addressing one of life's greatest conundrums. But you won't just be a spectator as Dr. Grim engages and encourages each of us to come to our own conclusions. Is the mind part of the body? Or could the body be part of the mind? And if they are separate, what is the mechanism for interaction? This course poses these challenging questions, and more, for philosophers and scientists of all levels.

In this course you'll learn about the many ways in which philosophy, mathematics, psychology, and cutting-edge neuroscience have weighed in on the mind-body problem, all to varying degrees of success. You'll learn how computers and artificial intelligence have challenged our notions of the mind and consciousness and what scientists have learned from our dreams, hallucinations, and experiences under anesthesia. And you'll enjoy the fascinating, creative thought experiments that address knowledge, perception, and consciousness.

What is the answer to the mind-body problem? No one knows...yet. But in Mind-Body Philosophy, Dr. Grim suggests a new method of inquiry that could possibly lead to a solution: a philosophical science of consciousness combining the best that philosophy and science have to offer. But even without an answer, Dr. Grim says, this passionate pursuit of truth is a crucially important enterprise in itself.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

©2017 The Great Courses (P)2017 The Teaching Company, LLC

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  • Mike
  • 24-01-2017

Another Great Courses Homerun!

Any additional comments?

In this course, an old crusty philosophical problem crashes headlong into bleeding edge science. In 1,000 years from now, will we have a decisive answer to the philosophical puzzle of consciousness? I don't know. But in 100 years from now, it seems likely we'll have made exciting progress into the relevant neuroscience and hopefully AI as well. This is why I believe most contemporary academics - as Professor Grim states in the first lecture - are materialists; this is where the progress is.

Also for this reason, the course really starts for me around Lecture 15 on machine consciousness, and is in full swing by Lecture 19 on the binding problem. So if you are not impressed in the beginning, make sure to ride it out. Lecture 21 "Of Mind, Materialism, and Zombies" is probably the coolest and most intellectually stimulating single Great Courses lecture. Not to say the course as a whole is the best - although it's up there - but that one lecture alone is worth this whole course.

If you are interested in further (very technical and abstract) knowledge on the AI side of this coin, I highly recommend On Intelligence by Jeff Hawkins, as I fully recommend this course.

34 of 38 people found this review helpful

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  • Bill
  • 29-03-2017

Engaging and challenging

This is an excellent survey of the subject. it is the sort of experience which will leave you wanting to find further courses on the various thinkers and ideas he discusses.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Monika Rossa Wheatley
  • 21-05-2017

AWESOME BOOK!

Would you listen to Mind-Body Philosophy again? Why?

I already listened to this book about ten times. I'm saying "about", because I choose different lectures and I repeat them over and over. I finally bought the transcript and I read it the same way.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Mind-Body Philosophy?

This is a very long course, so it has many "memorable" moments. I think that the history of William James, the binding in the brain, the story of Touring, the determinism versus free will, to name a few.

Which scene was your favorite?

Imagining the binding in the brain. Or rather the search for consciousness.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

What and how we are.

Any additional comments?

This book elevated my interest in quantum physics as well in other philosophical questions. I felt that I was trusted enough as a reader or listener, to engage my own reasoning and intuition in search for the answers to the very basic questions, that in a regular life are simply overlooked.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Mtollefsrud
  • 25-04-2017

Spotlight of Clarity on the Mind-Body Problem

A masterful elucidation of an age old philosophical problem. Narration was excellent making listening easy and enjoyable. I highly recommend this book for anyone interested in the Mind-Body Problem.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • J. Arnold
  • 04-11-2017

Enjoyable!

A worthwhile great course. A thoughtful survey of the present status of various disciplines relating to the mind body phenomena.

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  • Kandice
  • 25-10-2017

Interesting theories, well written and spoken.

The professor had and interesting take on how our minds work and why. I'll need to listen a few times to absorb it all.

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  • Sharyl Wooton
  • 15-09-2017

interesting enough

The general message is simple. The mind is what the brain does, but the brain is just part of a body. The presentation wad interesting enough.

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  • Dan Vogel
  • 09-07-2017

Clearly from the materialistic perspective.

What made the experience of listening to Mind-Body Philosophy the most enjoyable?

Hey the best thing about this is it puts forth the best case for a materialist view of the mind as just part of the brain. Unfortunately it is too early to conclude that the mind is just an illusion we have about our brains. This course makes the best effort to come to that conclusion.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 05-06-2017

Loved it!

Easy voice to listen to. Well structured and nicely delivered lectures. I could listen to this stuff all day.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Michael Johnson
  • 22-05-2017

I'm on my fourth read

What did you love best about Mind-Body Philosophy?

Not too deep, but deep enough to enlighten and broaden my mind.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Mind-Body Philosophy?

The comparison of eastern and western philosophies regarding the hard problem of consciousness.

Have you listened to any of Professor Patrick Grim PhD’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No. But I will look for some.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Not really. Great from beginning to end. If you ever wondered how our physical brain gives rise to subjective experience, this is for you.

Any additional comments?

I anticipate this will stay with me for life.

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  • jannine
  • 31-08-2017

Makes philosophical concepts accessible.

I really appreciate the structure of this book. The concepts are complicated, so 30 minute chapters meant I could listen and then digest. It's given me an overall understanding without overwhelming me. And I can go back and listen to a chapter of relevance to my studies.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful