Origin and Evolution of the Mind

Examine the question of whether intelligence, self-consciousness, mind and free will are realities or illusions. We enquire from science and philosophy what each contributes and confront the dilemma of artificial vs biological intelligence.

This class will be delivered face-to-face at WEA Sydney. Enrolling students need to ensure they have read the current COVID-19 Safety Guidance that WEA Sydney has put in place before enrolling.

SUGGESTED READING

  • Gilbert Ryle, The Concept of Mind
  • Daniel Dennett, Consciousness explained
  • Roger Penrose, The Emperor's New Mind
  • Jurgen Lawrenz, Life & Mind - A Philosophical Quest

COURSE OUTLINE

  • THE PARADOX OF A THINKING: Thinking is apparently reserved to humans among all the fauna. This sounds like a contradiction of evolution: If only one creature can think, it seems that the human brain must have evolved differently from all other brains on earth?
  • INTELLIGENCE, INFORMATION AND INTENTIONALITY: These features are basic to all life forms. We can learn from microbes about the difference between "can do" and "can't do", which is the bottom layer in the emergence of consciousness, free will and intelligence.
  • THE BRAIN AS THE SEAT OF CONSCIOUS SENSING AND WILLING: In this session we consider the three layers of consciousness -- sensing, perceiving and thinking.
  • LANGUAGE, MEMORY, SOCIALISATION: "Language is the mother of thought." In this sessions we trace the mental evolution of mankind through language, memory and mimesis.
  • THE INNER WORLD OF THE MIND: The uses of thinking, invention, creativity. The mind as a concept manipulator. The structure of sensing, perceiving and thinking.
  • HOW THE BRAIN MAKES UP ITS MIND: The mind as a "virtual cortex". It's architecture and processes.

PLANNED LEARNING OUTCOMES

By the end of this course, students should be able to:

  1. Discuss knowledgeably the issues involved in this study.
  2. Gain a first overview of the philosophical and scientific problems.
$192 Limited / $173

<p>Examine the question of whether intelligence, self-consciousness, mind and free will are realities or illusions. We enquire from science and philosophy what each contributes and confront the

...
28 Jan

Interested in this course but can't attend? Please join the waiting list by clicking .