PHIL 340 - Minds and Machines
Winter 2021, Section 001
Instruction Mode: Section 001 is  Online (see other Sections below)
Subject: Philosophy (PHIL)
Department: LSA Philosophy
See additional student enrollment and course instructor information to guide you in your decision making.

Details

Credits:
4
Requirements & Distribution:
HU
Repeatability:
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

Description

This course will discuss minds, machines, the relationships between them, and the relationships they encourage and discourage. Throughout we will compare and contrast human minds and brains with machine ‘minds’ and ‘brains,’ considering questions like: Could a machine have a mind? Could a machine be conscious, or think in the ways that people do? What can human brains teach us about how a thinking machine might work, and vice versa? What might information processing, information integration, and information availability have to do with consciousness? Could the internet be conscious? How could we tell? How do machines and our interactions with them influence how humans think, learn, reason, and know? What are the promises and perils of artificial intelligence, big data, and gargantuan networks, especially when the underlying mechanics of machine and network reasoning are not transparent to us? How should machines be treated—including machines that exhibit some but not all features of human minds? Why? How should machines treat us?

Course Requirements:

In addition to reading from the required texts, we will read selected articles and watch several films (available online), including Werner Herzog’s Lo and Behold: Reveries of the Connected World; Spike Jonze’s Her; Lilly and Lana Wachowski’s The Matrix; and an episode or two of Black Mirror.

Intended Audience:

This course welcomes entirely online participation. While there will be optional in-person components, no part of this course requires you to be on campus or present in-person.

Class Format:

Two lectures and one discussion section per week. The lecture will be held synchronously; a recording will also be posted on the Canvas site. Some of the discussion sections will be held in-person; the sections will also have an online synchronous option.

Schedule

PHIL 340 - Minds and Machines
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
 Online
25113
Open
3
 
-
MW 1:00PM - 2:30PM
002 (DIS)
 Online
25115
Open
1
 
-
W 4:00PM - 5:00PM
003 (DIS)
 Online
25767
Closed
0
 
-
W 3:00PM - 4:00PM
004 (DIS)
 Online
25768
Closed
0
 
-
F 11:00AM - 12:00PM
005 (DIS)
 Online
27663
Closed
0
 
-
F 1:00PM - 2:00PM
006 (DIS)
 Online
39455
Open
1
 
-
W 3:00PM - 4:00PM
007 (DIS)
 Online
39456
Open
1
 
-
F 11:00AM - 12:00PM
008 (DIS)
 Online
40364
Open
1
 
-
W 3:00PM - 4:00PM
009 (DIS)
 Online
40365
Closed
0
 
-
F 1:00PM - 2:00PM

Textbooks/Other Materials

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Click the button below to view and buy textbooks for PHIL 340.001

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Syllabi

Syllabi are available to current LSA students. IMPORTANT: These syllabi are provided to give students a general idea about the courses, as offered by LSA departments and programs in prior academic terms. The syllabi do not necessarily reflect the assignments, sequence of course materials, and/or course expectations that the faculty and departments/programs have for these same courses in the current and/or future terms.

Click the button below to view historical syllabi for PHIL 340 (UM login required)

View Historical Syllabi

CourseProfile (Atlas)

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CourseProfile (Atlas)