Philosophy of Mind

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Philosophy of Mind is a Humanities course in the CTY program with no prerequisites. Its course code is MIND, and it is offered at Carlisle, Lancaster, Los Angeles, and Saratoga Springs.

Course Description

This class functions both titularly and as a basic introduction to general philosophy. It is dominated in equal portions by lecture, debate, and difficult readings during study hall. Though it does not require a foundation in logic, it makes much use of logical concepts. The course progresses by introducing new ideas, which are discussed and generally denied as truth before moving onto the next philosopher and philosophy.

Activities can include a trip to the primate lab, a debate with another Philosophy of the Mind class or the Logic class, a combined lesson/discussion on animal intellegence with the Cognitive Psychology class, as well as demonstrations with robotics to aid the eventual discussion of the mental capability of robots. Discussion regarding artificial intelligence varies by class, but may play a large part in the course.

Class History

Carlisle

MIND.A.CAR.05.2 was inhabited by Alex, George, Daniel/Freak, Eva, Sarah, Caitlin, Erika, and Mel(eroni)/Olivia, in that order of seating.

CAR.06.2, taught by professor Zsolt, remembers:

  • abusing Zsolt's cat and little Johnny
  • determining that their hypothetical pet rat was killed by professor Zsolt when he hit it one too many times, hypothetically (the poor rat had no chance against skeptical physicalists)
  • then agreeing to damn Descartes to a Godless world and see how he survived not knowing what to think
  • "You are told 'not to worry' because, while your physical brain and body will be squashed to strawberry jam, your structure will be 'celebrated' by millions of dancing Indians (with '1' and '0' T-shirts) who will 'do your thing.'"

CAR.09.1 was taught by Dr. Mark Uffleman and David Richter was the TA. Dr. Mark, as he was called, had slight OCD but was incredibly enthusiastic about his work. After D-Day, Dr. Mark led his vanishing class bravely through the end, when there were only 4 people left in his class.

CAR.09.2 was taught by Tracie Mahaffey and David Richter was the TA. David was notably unenthusiastic and was dubbed 'Kip' by several of the girls in the class due to his resemblance to the Napoleon Dynomite character. Despite all this, he was oddly beloved and several of the girls attempted stalking him after CTY ended. It was also noticed, that instead of paying attention to relevant conversations David would do complex, full page, doodles.

Those in that class were: Sean, Thomas (NOTE: Sean and Thomas would oftentimes create a 'conglomeration of souls' they called Seanmas (pronounced in a manner close in resemblance to 'Seamus', the name of a guy in their hall). Seanmas involved alternating words to create a sentance as a singular entity, and that was about it. Tom and Sean did create a podcast together on Dualism, during which Tom represented the mind of Seanmas and Sean represented the body of Seanmas), Emily, Anna, Michelle, Bailey, Christine, Alice, Meghan, Rebecca, Jacob, Jameson, Julie R, Julie L, and Jo. It should be noted that this was the session of the 'Swine Flu Witchhunt', and as a result Jacob and Jameson were sent home early, though neither had flu.

During class, a good deal of time was spent talking about artificial intellegence (virtually all video watched was about artificial intellegence: AI, Wall-e, a Star Trek Episode, and a Battlestar Galactica thing. The only notable exceptions of this were an episode of Rugrats and a lecture by Dan Dennett) and free will. A day was also spent dedicated to philosophical zombies, which involved wearing zombie makeup. Many a look were exchanged between HUB worker and Phil. of Mind student that day.

Class fluctuated from being insanely fun and interesting to being incredibly boring. Tracie, the instructor, did allow for such exclaimations as 'OMFG!' and 'STFU!', provided the student who made said exclaimation say the 'F' stood for 'Frak' (Tracie was something of a Battlestar Galactica fanatic). The most exciting discovery in class was of the phrase '...failures on an epic scale...' in the middle of the philosophy textbook.

Evening sessions were torturous. The reading meterial seldom made sense unless you were concentrating intently on it, a difficult task (within 20 minutes of study hall, half the class would have given up on reading and would have been cavorting about playing games. David the TA, timid person he was, would never stop this. Therefore, any attempts to read an essay on idealism would be halted by an impromptu fashion show on top of the tables or several people in liberally applied lipstick claiming to be prostitutes).

CAR.10.2 was taught by Sean Landis and David Richter was the TA (again). Among the discussed topics were mountain goat-like tendencies, brain states that taste like HUB potatoes, and the always sneaky elephants striking by stealing memories. That's why they never forget, you know. XKCD was often found on essay prompts, worksheets, readings, and tests, as well as the occasional LOLcat or dinosaur comic pertaining to the material. The word "viz" became a new part of the everyday vocabulary of many, and was used WAY TOO OFTEN in class. Study hall parties became a bit wild (more than occasionally). David's habit of stealing coffee mugs from the dining hall manifested itself in the every-growing pyramid of mugs on the classroom's table, and Kant readings left everyone in the class "mindphukked" after an essay test. Kant puns were rampant throughout the classroom and (to the chagrin of many) out of it, too. A combined session with one of the Ethics classes led some students (especially Jessie)to also become vegetarian. Later in the session, another combined session happened with the (?) Neuroscience class, as well.

CAR. 12.1 Was taught by the glorious Will Reckner coupled with even more glorious TA Connor Salanger. During a debate about Qualia, Connor conjured up a magnificent hand-motion that consisted of putting one's hands up to the face and violently shooting them outwards to describe the concept. Obviously Connor's team was the winning debate team. Reading Material was miserable (as per usual), but was always slightly less miserable when class was allowed outside (this happened often because Will generally was not in charge of study halls). The inception noise was the #1 hit sound made from mouths nearing the end of the session as it was wildly entertaining and hilarious when made by Charlie. Most often asked question during class members during the session was "but does it have a mind?" and Brandon fell asleep on a daily basis, much to Connor's entertainment and Will's disappointment. Connor was known to be a man of the quiet variety and carried a 2 liter jug of coffee every day. Connor claims to drink the whole thing daily. Tensions rose often when Peachy-Os were in the room, and students often left the classroom to use the restroom during study halls, but would actually just gossip near the bathrooms. Will's Facebook is the most entertaining thing about him, and Connor ceases to exist on the internet, save for linkedn which he has no responded to my connections request on. Connor also grew a sick philosopher's beard CAR 13.1 and remained the TA for Philofmind despite saying he would not be returning (they always come back). Will returned as well and continues to wear magnificent sandals.

Students: Brandon IP, Josh 'Cyclone' Kauffman, Dano the Mano, Nicole, Dana Wang, Anna Semler, Margaux Haiber, Charles George O'Connel III, Natalie Flores, Harsh Sinha, Frank The Tank, Eric von Allmen, Robbin Jang

Lancaster

The LAN.05.1 class members were the originators of Thormanism, a religion that is now quite widespread in Papua New Guinea.

The LAN.05.2 session students determined that pants were indeed chairs, inducing much confusion and many a joke the rest of the session. It was also discovered that there were little Chinese men in our brains and that the hallway outside the room was actually France. This session was also marked by the recurrence of the exceedingly well-drawn chalkboard man who was depicted perpetually in the action of sticking his hand in a fire, and demonstrating by the tenets of behaviorism that he has a mind.

The LAN.06.2 group, instructed by Daniel Estrada, tended to worship chairs, watch their TA intently during class, and gang up on their instructor chanting "treeeeeeeeee..." and hugging him. There were also floppy husbands and robot kicking...

John Lawhead TA'd in 07.1 and supposedly converted perfectly weird CTYers into Trekkies.

LAN.07.2 remembers Keepon the dancing robot and Bjork music videos.

LAN.09.1 is rolling out.

LAN.09.2 was perpetually amused by their instructor's ('Marky Mark'/Mark Uffelman) "bulging biceps" -- which he constantly showed off, by their TA's ('Steve-O'/Stephen Foley) ever-expanding number of girlfriends (he got to 23-- he was polyamorous), and by fun philosophy of mind pick-up lines such as: "Let's study behaviorism and the relationship between your input and my output" and "Let's study eliminative materialism, i'll eliminate all the material on your body and you can think about it" (cred to Ali G. for the pickup lines)

LAN.10.1 has escaped from the Chinese room.

LAN.10.2's response to any objection will be very knowledgeable and superior.

LAN 11.1 had a moist interesting experience. We came, we couged, we philosophized with swagg.

LAN 12.2 participated in Twitter explorations, Google News procrastinating, unusually hostile debates, and many nicknames. Dan Dan the Party Man revealed his love for dan-ce (and came to the last dance), Patrick made sarcastic jokes until he would inevitably yell "CHILL GUYS CHILL," and YouTube ads were yelled at until they disappeared forever. The girls' RA also fell asleep in class, to the amusement of the lucky few who observed. Also, nobody and nothing exists.

Nothing seemed to happen in LAN 13.1 and 13.2. Maybe they don't exist.

LAN 14.1 hypothetically launched a fish from New York named Shawty Mane at one of the class members, talked of "real-life contact with hamburgers," and had an umbrella party in class. When the instructor, Jared, nicknamed "Jarebear," mentioned the statement, "One must still have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star" (Nietzsche), an hour-long discussion of its meaning ensued, and dancing stars were drawn on the board every time he left the room. A tally was kept of the amount of times Jared said something was controversial, an event that many students found hilarious. The tally reached 72 by the end of the session, and a drinking game was later added.

MIND A of LAN 15.1 had an oddly cult-like following of Jaegwon Kim, the writer of their textbook. Viewing him as a god, they frequently got angered when the instructor, Jared, still nicknamed "Jarebear," would disagree with Kim. "My name is KIIIIIIIIID Rock!" was a frequent catchphrase of both Jared and his students, who had a theory that he was a closet fan of the singer (he claimed that he hated the man). Also when discussion came up of two roads diverging in the woods much anger ensued. The TA, Charles BarCLAY ("not Barkley please") was nicknamed Rekkit Charles for his phenomenal ability for taking down the student's arguments. This ability was used most during presentations, Mind Jeopardy, and the Daily Bonus. Jared was known for deferring to Charles for everything, most presumably because of Charles' ability to wreck students. Other events in class included one student constantly playing (much to the dismay of others) "Careless Whisper", chalkboard drawings of Sherlock Holmes, John Watson, and Jim Moriarty, one student's doughnut shaped belly-button, another student's inability to pronounce anything, one Canadian student's inability to speak American, the entire class referring to bathrooms as water closets, and Jared's addiction to water and wearing his lanyard inside his shirt. JAEGWON KIM! JAEGWON KIM!!! JAEGWON KIM!!!!

MIND.B.LAN.15.1 - Theirs was a very tight-knit group with only nine students. Taught by Sean Landis and Jan Maximillian Robitzch (that may or may not be spelled right), the group tackled such questions as "CAN WE ROCK ALL NIGHT!?!" The group never did rock all night, but they had fun nonetheless. The students succeeded in obtaining a photo of Sean's impersonation of the "forever alone" meme. There is also digital footage of Max's first ever sip of Strawberry Kiwi Lemonade. The group became a vending machine one day (if you believe in functionalism). They bonded over a love of generous punctuation and a hatred of E.L. James. They had ups and downs (on the elevator), but were for the most part happy philoceraptors. The class had a very special relationship with the cord telephone outside the classroom. In the words of Ben: "I might vaguely remember one or two of you."

Side effects of MIND may include mistaking one's lanyard for a shoe; determining that one does not, in fact, exist; hatching a plan to bioengineer a unicorn (horse + narwal!), and general sleeping spells, including, but not limited to, those occurring during class.

LAN.17.2 was a 13 (and then 12) student class, taught by Jared Peterson and TAed by Serena Lai. Mind Jeopardy was consistently dominated by team Existential Crisis, who won with a staggering 19000 point lead. (Other team names were equally as creative, consisting of "Team#Team", "Team?", and "Team JAEgwon".) Somewhere along the way, the class rediscovered 14.1's nickname for Jared "Jarebear", and thus started referring to him as Jarebear, along with another nickname coined by #Zach, Jaredevil. The class bonded over falling asleep during night class (or maybe that was only Emily), love for Star Trek and Data's cat (which definitely was only Aviva), and their shared midlife crises over papers and essays. In the last week, #Zach, part of the holy trinity of Jaquisha left them due to unforseen circumstances, and Team#Team was renamed in his honor to Team#Zach. The class constantly reminded one another that "maybe nothing exists", a phrase which seems to solve all of their problems immediately, as well as "the trees are screaming" whenever a leaf was plucked - maybe a little less reassuring. Emily created a twitter thread that was titled "philomind philosophers but as a dating sim". They noticed (read: made fun of) Jared's lanyard constantly in his shirt, "insofaras", "ob Descartes's roleplay and wax obsession (as described in the First Meditation). Other notable events include Serena completely losing control of a night class and nobody getting any work done, "ANNA B WHAT IT BE", watching the Prestige and not finishing it in one sitting, Misha's inability to read more than ten pages in like an hour, "ANNA J WHAT YOU SAY", Zach's veggie rapping and dancing skillz, Mia abandoning the cool dudes' squad for the Jaquisha squad, Emily dabbing/whipping every time anything at all happened (as well as memorizing the entirety of Speaking in Tongues in about a day), and the unholy amount of mosquitoes outside terrorizing the student population. Down with Descartes *dabs*

LMU

At LMU, the class is generally taught by Zed Adams, who is known for his picture with a mummy and as a mummy and for telling morbid stories about philosophers, his love for In n Out, and wearing the same clothes every day. He was also known for showing seemingly arbitrary movies, including The Princess Bride (which supposedly relates to behavioralism), scenes from Monty Python and the Holy Grail, March of the Penguines, and Star Trek. He no longer shows these movies and instead shows Koko the Gorilla and Fast, Cheap, and Out of Control, the latter of which is supposed to relate to externalism and makes absolutely no logical sense whatsoever.

In 2011, the class was TAed by Andrew Ay Higgins, who is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation and slaughters chickens every month. He claims that the chickens go through less pain than those in meat factories. He eats no meat other than the monthly chicken and the In-n-Out Zed bought him. In this class, rocks can think, lobsters hate humans, Descartes' book acts as a natural sleep aid, and sharks kill you just to steal your ice cream. If you have no money to buy Jamba Juice, Andrew will pay for you, and you only have to pay $4 for a $4.85 smoothie.

12.1 was a legendary class. Possibly the smallest class so far in LOS history. We were the Guardians of Phil's Mind, a band of crazy kids. TA-ed by Kevin Busch, we did it all. From running zombie attacks, debating the existence of Koko the Gorilla's mind, the "inception wax", and Descartes' equating animals to toasters, we had an amazing time. We watched Space Odyssey: 2001 as part of our class. We will never forget the craziness of Aunt Peter, the incestuous relations surrounding the Gardner-Ovstrovsky clan, and the presence of "theee GYPSY WOMAN. SHE STOLE OUR LIMBS!". Members of the class include Carlislean Existentialist Nathanael Callan (the family concubine), nevermore-raver Micaela Gardner (the great mother of all), Amanda Sin (Princess of the Blood), Shannon Cassady, Katie Kim, Kyra (with her legendary aviators and baseball cap!), Laura Medina (Michaela's secret lover), lesbian aunt Peter and Andrew. The Phil of Mind clan will be forever noted for being the closest class, rivalling the greatness of the Lancastrian DigiClan. All Hail Iggy the Lion. Forever shall we protect the sacred body that is Phil. Forever together, never forgotten.

During 12.2, the class was TAed by Kevin Busch, a man known for his questionable sleeping habits, questionable backstories used as excuses for said sleeping habits, and uncanny likeness to Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Zed showed Hugo in a luxurious room in the library because of the single automaton in the movie. The fabled Consider the Lobster lesson was not taught this year. Kevin enjoyed taking the class out to the bluff or the library and once even a small computer lab in the main office for some thoroughly enjoyed quiet reading time. Also hot darn did this class love stickers! Zed and Kevin gave out surprisingly motivational Pokemon stickers the first week and then branched out to fluffy rainbow Care Bear stickers and kittens and puppies and dinosaurs. It was a session truly loved by the students, and the four Nevermores in the class claimed that it was the best class they had ever taken.

Side effects of this class include sleeping spells, especially during Descartes, as well as drawing hilarious and random philosophy comics.

13.2 was a 15 student class. Zed showed Wargames (and no one really payed attention to the questions), leading to multiple sarcastic jokes about,"Look how SMALL the high tech computers are! They can fit in a SINGLE ROOM!" Matt TAed and was known for "being really good looking," in the words of a Nevermore.Some students were 100% door stops (hey, they served the function of a door stop). Multiple students when into REM sleep at the library reading AI. We had many tea fanatics (one student drank 5 cups in a day!) And only two boys!

15.2 was a 11 student class. It was taught by Jared Peterson and TAed by Scott Wolcott. On Fridays they made use play Mind Jeopardy (self explanatory) and a certain CTYer when he did not know the answer to a question answered "WHO IS BEES" . He was told to take the game seriously. He screamed bees again on his next turn. This lead to the whole class piping up with bees randomly within conversations.

Saratoga

The 13.1 class was taught by Andrew Higgins, and TA'd by the infamous Brian. The class (composed of 3 guys and 12ish girls) was notoriously loud and prone to burst out into singing the chorus of "Milkshake". The class's terrible first week behavior and abnormal obsession with milkshakes culminated into Andrew introducing a "Milkshake Points" system, where one would be awarded a point after winning a debate, solving a puzzle, etc. Two points would mean the winner could go and buy a frozen dairy confection at the Case Center during breaks. During evening classes, a certain girl was prone to random fits of laughter, only amplified by the TA's ban on making noise. Eventually, half the class would descend into mindless giggling, and the evening class would devolve into talking about milkshakes, among other things. Of course, the TA would then force the class back into reading Descartes, only for the mentioned girl to burst into laughing again. Though he never knew, at least half the class would use their iPods/iPhones during the evening classes for purposes ranging from playing Candy Crush to looking at funny pictures of cats to reading fanfiction. Tired of the constant interruptions during the evening classes, Andrew made a bet with the students that they could not remain silent for 70 minutes during the evening class. Much to his shock, the class beautifully pulled this off by avoiding funny pictures of cats while pretending to read about functionalism. Andrew was then forced to award a milkshake point to everybody, leading to the entire class congregating at the Case Center the next day, clamoring for milkshakes.

On a side note, you may or may not begin to doubt the existence of your hands due to this class.

The 14.1 class was taught by Andrew Higgins and TA'd by the above-mentioned Brian Wilson. Milkshake Points were reintroduced to the class (composed of 5 guys and 9 girls) but due to their increased involvement compared to the previous year, this class was challenged to get 10 milkshake points per individual or 100 together as a class. Little did Andrew and Brian know that the freal milkshake machine had been moved to the small shop outside of the Murray Dining Hall where students were allowed to purchase milkshakes on their own (The Case Center was under construction). When a couple male students discovered this before a morning class, Andrew refused to allow unearned milkshakes inside the classroom, making them either finish or throw them out before entering the building to prevent the degrading of the points and to keep the class motivated. The last week of the session Andrew and Brian realized enough milkshake points were not given to achieve either of the goals, resulting in one class trip to the Murray Dining Hall for milkshakes for a total of 50 milkshake points, half of the original expectation. Afterwards, the class was left to decide which points were going to be taken away from which name to create the total of 50. As rounds were made seat by seat, students decided to give up all of the points they had, a specific number, or none. If the class had come to a decision peacefully, Andrew promised to leave the remaining points under the names of the individual(s) in hopes that they could earn enough points for another milkshake by the end of session. Of course, the decision did not come peacefully. After multiple rounds of milkshake greedy students, their stubbornness lost all the remaining milkshake points at once, leaving the class at a total of 0 milkshake points.

On the other hand, this class found the resemblance between Instructor Andrew and an orange furbie.

The 15.1 class was taught by Andrew Higgins and TA'd by Randolph "Jay" Carlson. This class was notably filled with anarcho-communists. Because most of the students in this class were anti-capitalist they overthrew milkshake points. Instead, Andrew took the students who wanted beverages to Starbucks during the break.

The Saratoga 17.2 Philosophy of Mind class was the smallest CTY class ever, as it beat the Genomics record at Baltimore as MIND managed to have five people in the class. Members include Derek, Ed, Luke, Sophie and Alan. The course was taught by the 12 year veteran of CTY, Andrew Higgins, along with TA Olta. The class was known for being so small as RAs Dayna and Mike both poked fun at counting up their halls for the class.

Loudonville

The Loudonville class in 2005 was taught by Dan Thero.