A very weak "not so great" course. The lecturer does not go into enough detail and fails to use clear and concrete examples for rather complex issue..Show More »s. Take Searle's famous Chinese Room scenario or Turing's Imitation Game. Both of these merit a detailed explanation to make sense in the context of the speaker's conceptual system. However, I understood these two concepts only because I had listened to a much better philosophy of mind course (Philosophy of Mind by P. Grimm — a truly "great course"). Much of what professor Robinson says in this course may be quite worthwhile, but he does not make himself clear enough. The only worthwhile chapters are 1, 10 and 11.
Patrick Grim lays out the groundwork for the major theories of mind and what it means to "be a being" with consciousness, thought and self-awareness. ..Show More » The course is in depth and very intelligent, but presented in such a way as the layman will readily understand if proper attention is paid to the lectures. Another Great Courses lecture series on this same topic by John Searle will also be quite helpful. Once these courses are completed, I recommend moving on to books like Brian Christian's The Most Human Human (artificial intelligence) V. Ramachandran's The Tell-Tale Brain (neurology and pathology) and Sebastian Seung's Connectome (neurology, consciousness and self-awareness). Grim and Searle's lectures are a wonderful place to start on the pathway to learning about the philosophy, physiology and psychology of who you are and why there is a "who you are."