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Viewing: PHI 347 : Neuroscience and Philosophy

Last approved: Wed, 08 Mar 2017 09:02:20 GMT

Last edit: Wed, 08 Mar 2017 09:02:20 GMT

Change Type
Major
PHI (Philosophy)
347
032428
Dual-Level Course
Cross-listed Course
No
Neuroscience and Philosophy
Neuroscience and Philosophy
College of Humanities and Social Sciences
Philosophy and Religion (16PHI)
Term Offering
Spring Only
Offered Every Year
Fall 2017
Previously taught as Special Topics?
No
 
Course Delivery
Face-to-Face (On Campus)

Grading Method
Graded with S/U option
3
16
Contact Hours
(Per Week)
Component TypeContact Hours
Lecture3
Course Attribute(s)
GEP (Gen Ed)

If your course includes any of the following competencies, check all that apply.
University Competencies

Course Is Repeatable for Credit
No
 
 
Veljko Dubljevic
Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Program in Science, Technology and Society (STS)

Open when course_delivery = campus OR course_delivery = blended OR course_delivery = flip
Enrollment ComponentPer SemesterPer SectionMultiple Sections?Comments
Lecture3030NoNone
Open when course_delivery = distance OR course_delivery = online OR course_delivery = remote
None
Is the course required or an elective for a Curriculum?
Yes
SIS Program CodeProgram TitleRequired or Elective?
16PHILBS-PHILLOGB. S. in Philosophy: Logic, Representation and Reasoning Elective
16PHILBSB. S. in PhilosophyElective
16PHILBAB.A. in PhilosophyElective
16PHILBA-16PHILETHB.A. in Philosophy - EthicsElective
16PHILBA-16PHILLAWB.A. in Philosophy - Philosophy of LawElective
16CNMMinor in Cognitive ScienceElective
16STSBAScience, Tech, and Society-BAElective
16PHMPhilosophy minorElective
16STMScience, Technology, and Society minorElective
16STBSScience, technology, and Society-BSElective
Introduction to principal theoretical, empirical and normative issues at the intersection of neuroscience and philosophy, including such issues as: consciousness, the mind's I and the brain's I: free will, moral responsibility and neuroscience; the ethics of personal enhancement; brains, human nature and personal identity; neuroscientifically informed evaluation of well-being.

A search of the catalog on "brain," words beginning with "neuro" and other terms closely similar in meaning indicated that only two units (other than Philosophy and Religious Studies itself) offer courses with potential overlaps: Biological Sciences, Psychology. The instructor does half of his teaching in IDS/STS and the course is a natural candidate for an elective for STS majors (16STSBA 2046 GRP710), so comment was also sought from IDS/STS.


It appears that the only courses with a significant neuroscientific component are:


BIO 483 Capstone Course in Integrative Physiology and Neurobiology; BIO 488 Neurobiology; BIT 478 Mapping the Brain; PHI/PSY 425 Introduction to Cognitive Science; PSY 430 Biological Psychology


and none of them appears to address major conceptual and ethical issues raised by recent and anticipated progress in human neuroscience, as this proposed course would. Consults were invited from IDS/STS, Psychology and Biology. In the attattachment the favorable responses from all three are recorded.


Professor Endicott, who is responsible for PHI 332 Philosophy of Psychology and PHI/PSY 425 Introduction to Cognitive Science, has reviewed the attached syllabus for this proposed course and confirms that there is no significant overlap between either PHI 332 or PHI/PSY 425 and this course; and similarly for Professor Catherine Driscoll and PHI 447 Philosophy, Evolution and Human Nature. Faculty responsible for departmental ethics and philosophy of science courses saw no significant overlap.


Dr. Dubljevic was hired in the area of ethics of emerging science and technology. His research focuses on the ethics of neuroscience and technology and the cognitive neuroscience of ethics.


No

Is this a GEP Course?
Yes
GEP Categories
Humanities
Interdisciplinary Perspectives
Humanities Open when gep_category = HUM
Each course in the Humanities category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:
 
 
Students will be able to 
describe a variety of philosophical conceptions of the mind, self and consciousness addressed by contemporary cognitive neuroscience and to assess the plausibility of different approaches taken by the sciences in attempting to explain those philosophical conceptions.
 
 
Essays on lecture topics, Midterm and Final exam questions. (Sample question: How has mind/body dualism informed judgments of moral responsibility? What would be the effect on those judgments of rejecting dualism in favor of an alternative view grounded in cognitive neuroscience?)
 
 
Students will be able to apply philosophical methods to evaluate the application of neuroscientific explanations to ethical and social implications (e.g. Are arguments intended to uncover truth or overcome opponents?).
 
 
Essays on lecture topics, Midterm and Final exam questions. (Sample question: How does some of what’s been learned about the human central nervous system promise or threaten to challenge traditional valuing of altruistic behavior and motivating compassion?)
 
 
Analyze and reconstruct neuroscientific arguments concerning the supposed basis of the mind in the brain and the alleged further implications for ethics.
 
 
Essays on lecture topics, Midterm and Final exam questions. (Sample question: Are there some kinds of neurological disorders that would under some circumstances absolve a person suffering from them of moral responsibility for particular kinds of actions? Are there any other kinds of neurological disorders?)
Mathematical Sciences Open when gep_category = MATH
Each course in the Mathematial Sciences category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:
 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

Natural Sciences Open when gep_category = NATSCI
Each course in the Natural Sciences category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:
 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

Social Sciences Open when gep_category = SOCSCI
Each course in the Social Sciences category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:
 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

Interdisciplinary Perspectives Open when gep_category = INTERDISC
Each course in the Interdisciplinary Perspectives category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:
 
 
Students will be able to identify and differentiate the contributions of neuroscience and philosophy to the development of important questions concerning meaning and responsibility.
 
 
Essays on lecture topics, Midterm and Final exam questions. Sample question: What are the ethical implications of claims from neuroscience about the neural basis of conscious volition or free will?
 
 
Students will be able to describe and analyze the strengths and weaknesses of the neurophilosophical model of the mind/brain both for philosophical rigor and empirical grounding in neuroscience.
 
 
Essays on lecture topics, Midterm and Final exam questions. Sample Question: Describe and analyze the strengths and weaknesses of the neurophilosophical model of the mind/brain both for philosophical rigor and empirical grounding in neuroscience.
 
 
Students will be able to distinguish, analyze and critically evaluate theoretical, normative and empirical claims in neuroscience and philosophy.
 
 
Essays on lecture topics, Midterm and Final exam questions. (Sample question: Identify at most three ethically debatable uses of neuroimaging and say how they relate to the historical development of brain science (e.g., phrenology).)
 
 
Neuroscience, Philosophy
 
 
The instructor will guide students in examining old questions about the nature of the mind within the new framework of the brain sciences. The neurobiological basis of consciousness, the self, and free choice will be addressed as well as the current state of knowledge about how the brain learns about the external world and about its own introspective world. These questions necessarily entail an attempt to develop an integrated approach. Drawing on results from research at the neuronal, neurochemical, system, and whole-brain levels the course gives an up-to-date perspective on the basis and significance of religious and moral experiences. The course instructor encourages critical thinking at all stages of reconstructing the current state of neurophilosophy - analyzing what we know, describing what we do not know, and identifying where things may go from here.
Visual & Performing Arts Open when gep_category = VPA
Each course in the Visual and Performing Arts category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:
 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

Health and Exercise Studies Open when gep_category = HES
Each course in the Health and Exercise Studies category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:
 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
&
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

Global Knowledge Open when gep_category = GLOBAL
Each course in the Global Knowledge category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to achieve objective #1 plus at least one of objectives 2, 3, and 4:
 
 

 
 

 
Please complete at least 1 of the following student objectives.
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

US Diversity Open when gep_category = USDIV
Each course in the US Diversity category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to achieve at least 2 of the following objectives:
Please complete at least 2 of the following student objectives.
 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

Requisites and Scheduling
100%
 
a. If seats are restricted, describe the restrictions being applied.
 
na
 
b. Is this restriction listed in the course catalog description for the course?
 
na
 
List all course pre-requisites, co-requisites, and restrictive statements (ex: Jr standing; Chemistry majors only). If none, state none.
 
none
 
List any discipline specific background or skills that a student is expected to have prior to taking this course. If none, state none. (ex: ability to analyze historical text; prepare a lesson plan)
 
na
Additional Information
Complete the following 3 questions or attach a syllabus that includes this information. If a 400-level or dual level course, a syllabus is required.
 
Title and author of any required text or publications.
 
Patricia Smith Churchland, _Brain-Wise: Studies in Neurophilosophy_, (The MIT Press, 2002). ISBN 978-0262532006 paperback $ 36.46 (new) $ 3.99 (used) and available for download from: https://archive.org/details/Brain-Wise_Studies_in_Neurophilosophy_by_Patricia_Smith_Churchland

Additional required readings will be available online through the course Moodle web site (https://wolfware.ncsu.edu). See Schedule in attached syllabus for details.
 
Major topics to be covered and required readings including laboratory and studio topics.
 
See attached syllabus.
 
List any required field trips, out of class activities, and/or guest speakers.
 
none
College(s)Contact NameStatement Summary
College of Humanities and Social Sciencesawmeade@ncsu.eduAlthough there appears to be no significant overlap between this proposed course and any current undergraduate Psychology course, we invite comment.
Reply: there is minimal overlap between this course and those taught in Psychology and certainly the course would not be considered redundant.
College of Humanities and Social Sciencesmneisler@ncsu.eduWe hope that this proposed course will be of interest to IDS/STS majors and that it might count toward fulfillment of STS major (16STSBA, 16STSBS) and minor (16STM) requirements.
Reply: I have reviewed the syllabus for PHI 347, and believe this course would make an excellent STS elective. Matthew N. Eisler, Interim Director STS Program.
College of Sciencesjane_lubischer@ncsu.eduAlthough there appears to be no significant overlap between this proposed course and any current undergraduate Biological Sciences course, we invite comment.
Reply: We have no concerns that the proposed course is redundant with any of our offerings, and appreciate the opportunity to share information about this new course offering with our neuroscience students and others who might be interested.
This course will be taught as part of the instructor's standard rotation. He was hired specifically in the area of ethics of emerging science and technology. His research focus is within the course's content areas.

The course seeks to introduce students to major ethical, normative and methodological issues in the intersection of neuroscience and philosophy, and to help them to develop the capacity to evaluate promising wways of addressing these issues, requiring the ability to distinguish empirical from theoretical justifications iinvolving differentiation of levels of explanation in any models considered.


Student Learning Outcomes

By the end of the course, students will be able to:

1. Identify major empirical, normative (ethical and non-ethical) and methodological issues in the intersection of neuroscience and philosophy;

2. Determine which approaches are effective in analyzing these issues;

3. Differentiate among levels of explanation and modeling in neuroscience as the levels affect potential practical applications of any neuroscientific hypotheses;

4. Distinguish empirical from theoretical justifications (both of which are typically needed) in evaluating proposed resolutions of these issues.


Evaluation MethodWeighting/Points for EachDetails
Midterm25in class, five essay questions
Participation10see syllabus for details
presentation10on assigned topic and date about a key issue from assigned readings
Short Paper205-page essay on the discussion topic from one selected lecture
Other10Proposal for topical focus of cooperatively designed Final Exam: 250 words description, with suggested literature to be covered
Final Exam25Take home, essay format
TopicTime Devoted to Each TopicActivity
Core questions1 wklecture and readings
Naturalism and reductionism1 wklecture and readings
Metaphysics of mind0.5 wkslecture and readings
Self-knowledge and consciousness1.5 wkslecture and readings
Free will, respsonsibility and volition2 wkslecture and readings
Neuroscience, Epistemology, Representation and Learning1.5 wkslecture and readings
Religion and the brain0.5 wkslecture and readings
Neuroimaging and ethics0.5 wkslecture and readings
Neuroscience and personhood0.5 wkslecture and readings
Neuroessentialism0.5 wkslecture and readings
Normative implications of Neuroscience2 wkslecture and readings
Neuroscience and Moral Enhancement 1 wklecture and readings
Frontiers of Neuroscience: Addiction, Alzheimer's and Brain-to-Brain Interfacing2 wkslecture and readings
Conclusions?0.5 wkslecture and readings
Final Exam1 wktake home, co-designed with instructor

mjpendle (Fri, 23 Dec 2016 18:22:52 GMT): Rollback: As discussed
Key: 12905