adbl_ms_membershipImage_includedwith_altText_B076FLV3HT
adbl_ms_membershipImage_includedwith_altText_B076FLV3HT

1 audiobook of your choice.
Stream or download thousands of included titles.
$14.95 a month after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
Buy for $34.95

Buy for $34.95

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

The quest to understand the mind has motivated some of history's most profound thinkers. But only in our own time are we beginning to see the true complexity of this quest, as today's philosophers draw on the latest evidence from neuroscience, psychology, artificial intelligence, linguistics, and other fields to probe deeply into the inner workings of the mind.

These 24 stimulating lectures from an award-winning teacher and honored scholar present a clear, systematic, and compelling introduction to the philosophy of mind, exploring all of the major theories, including: Dualism, which holds that body and mind are separate substances; Behaviorism and Functionalism, which stress behavior and interactions with the world as clues to the mind's inner workings;. Idealism, the view that the physical world is an illusion and that only the mental realm exists; and the "antitheories" of mind, which posit that subjective mental experiences are fundamentally inexplicable and will always remain a mystery.

Examining the most intriguing questions and influential theories in what can often be a complex and often controversial intellectual terrain, Professor Grim sorts out the different approaches to give you the pros and cons of each.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

©2008 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2008 The Great Courses

What listeners say about Philosophy of Mind: Brains, Consciousness, and Thinking Machines

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    607
  • 4 Stars
    178
  • 3 Stars
    50
  • 2 Stars
    6
  • 1 Stars
    9
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    546
  • 4 Stars
    140
  • 3 Stars
    41
  • 2 Stars
    8
  • 1 Stars
    5
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    507
  • 4 Stars
    153
  • 3 Stars
    49
  • 2 Stars
    11
  • 1 Stars
    6

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Stellar Course!

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. 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."

60 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Terrific! but serious Audio Problem!

This lecture series is a fascinating survey of the problem of understanding the mind. It is broad and specific and surprisingly clear despite the high pace and density. unfortunately, there are stereo audio experiments and the file is mono, which ruins them. The information is comprehensible without them but less directly. it is unfortunate that the technology is reducing the quality of experience, not improving it.

17 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Not much meat to this course

The narrator was good and I enjoyed listening to him. But at the end I did not feel I got much out of the course. It really just seemed to be a series of comparisons between various theories with much time spent on theories that have been for the most part thrown out. I was hoping that the course would spend most of its time delving into the most current theories and really explaining what the state of the art is on thinking, mind, and consciousness. But if that is what you area looking for, you will be disappointed.

16 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Brilliant book for A.I. and human-mind enthusiast

What made the experience of listening to Philosophy of Mind: Brains, Consciousness, and Thinking Machines the most enjoyable?

Full of useful content, no time-waster fill-ins

What was one of the most memorable moments of Philosophy of Mind: Brains, Consciousness, and Thinking Machines?

Story about the history of A.I., and how messy the architecture of human consciousness really is

What about Professor Patrick Grim’s performance did you like?

Clear voice, easy pace (not too slow, not too fast)

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Brilliant

Professor Grim is a great find. Hugely enjoyable series of lectures, worth listening to at whatever level you think of yourself at, but especially good for surveying the fundamentals of a rapidly evolving area of philosophy and science.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Intriguing survey of philosophy & consciousness

Broken into a background in western philosophy, a history of computation, and the struggles to uncover the complexity of "consciousness", this series provides a versatile and provoking study of how we contemplate our own sense of self.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Interesting...

An interesting philosophical discussion on consciousness. I did learn a lot and enjoyed the program, though would have preferred less focus on artificial intelligence and mathematics with an investigation on spiritual aspects instead.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Expansive and Stimulating, but Still Clueless

The Value
This course was 'expansive' for me as I 'expand' into what is and has been in philosophy (to compare it all to what I have independently developed), and it was mentally stimulating (as the length and breadth of this comment attests).

The Cognitive Psychology
As well as philosophy, the book was heavy on cognitive research in psychology (exploring how the brain and our senses surprisingly work) most of which I personally had heard before, but there was enough new (expansive) material for me here, too. Just to note, I consider it valuable because my philosophy on philosophy is that an ideal ethically-objective philosophy (that identifies universal values) (which incredibly does not exist yet) will have considered ALL current verified knowledge (and failing that (for it will), at least an adequate amount, resulting in at least an adequate life-guiding philosophy).

The Artificial Intelligence
Intriguing for me was the author's foray into Artificial Intelligence, of which I have long had a technical interest (dating back to the 1980's) and now have a philosophical interest (being more important). Most of the AI history was already familiar to me, but I did have new detailed thoughts stimulated by the content that was new to me. The archaic thinking was evident, however - for most of the 'problems' mentioned (such as the 'algorithmic problem' and the 'halting problem') assumed that only one program would be running at once, when in an actual AI entity, many programs would be running simultaneously, and checking on one another, and especially when a body is involved, and especially when body systems are regulated.

The Philosophy
On the down side, the philosophy is dead. Archaic, obsolete, irrelevant, and just plain silly. It reflects a generation that was still misdirected by religion and by the deficient paradigms of their time (I call it 'wrongheaded baggage'), and sometimes by speculation-cum-dogma, so hopefully the professor's generation will be the last generation to be so misdirected.

- Philosophy as 'Just Plain Silly'
The author (typically) becomes lost in thickets of lexicon ("do we hear the oboe, or the sound of the oboe?"), the answers which can easily arrived at by a simple agreement on terms. I categorize this kind of 'mental struggle' as 'silly', though the reigning generation of academic professorship thinks it is being deep and profound (it isn't).

- Philosophy as 'Misdirected by Religion'
The professor grew up when religion still held significant sway (in a more ignorant time), so the professor, for example, gives weight to (does not dismiss) the "Mysterion's" - philosophers who think consciousness will never be unraveled, being too 'mysterious' - a notion directly influenced by the misguidance of religion (which is pure make-believe, or, as I like to put it, "the preposterous imaginings of primitive minds institutionalized by social manipulators and domineers, which is then used as a venue by people to indulge in self-delusion and fatalistic thinking, and where the only value is the incorporated wisdom hard-won over many lifetimes - the credit then being claimed by the incorporating religion". Pan-consciousness and anti-theories of consciousness (mentioned in the lectures) are other victims of religious misdirection. They are entertaining speculation when there is still little to no data, but the tragedy is they are not treated as such, but as 'truth' by 'believers' (with no data, or little data, and even that contrary). Another example is "The Hard Problem of Consciousness" - i.e. how consciousness arose from physical matter. It is only hard because of religion's misdirection - the path to the answer clearly goes through microbiology - which is difficult if not impossible to realize through the haze of religion.

- Philosophy as Misdirected by Deficient Paradigms
The professor, like the deficient paradigms that surrounded his life, failed, at every point, to ask "Why Bother?" (which would have led him into truly deep and profound territory). So he is complacent (a result of deficient paradigms) with the superficial depth of common views (such as saying "the aim of science is a better grasp of reality", while not bothering to add the answer to "why bother?") - which is a clear illustration of the failings of philosophy to date, being complacent with 'just because' (and which is why I rolled-up my sleeves and asked, and then answered "Why bother?").

The Result
What results is that most of the philosophical content covers, and sometimes takes (equally clueless) issue with past and present clueless philosophers. To defend my 'clueless', note that past philosophers had an excuse - with little verified knowledge to work with, they had to do a lot of guesswork - they were 'shooting in the dark', and were predictably wrong, and religions and their deficient paradigms only served to further misdirect them. To excuse present philosophers (which to date I have not done, usually angrily), they are, although still 'existing', now tied to the past - having had far less verified knowledge to go on than what exists today, and (as can be expected) they still hold on to their personal formative (now old and erroneous) dogma, as misdirected by religion and deficient paradigms.

ist's and ism's
Entertaining for me (in a tragic way) were the 'impressive academic labels' (ist's and ism's) given to the various modes of wrongheaded thinking that have existed. For example we have the label "Illuminative Materialists' for those philosophers who hold that there is no 'mental', only the physical (as opposed to the 'idealists' who hold that the mental exists independent of the physical) (the Mumbo-Mumboist's if I had to label them). Just a side note on labels, academic philosophers will try to beat you down by name-dropping them ('labels of vapid thinking' as they will be known) as if they were impressive and relevant (they are neither) - if beating you down with their credentials alone fails (when they are losing an argument). So be prepared.

Other 'Deficient Paradigm' Influences
Most people's concept of consciousness is "still in the shadow of Cartesian dualism" (where mental exists independent of the physical world) as misdirected by religion. This leads to another mistake the professor made - the professor refers to things like thoughts and memories as 'things' (like I just mistakenly did - my being subsumed in the current sea of philosophical stupidity), when they are actually 'processes', not 'things'. Such misperceptions are attributed to the bad influence of deficient paradigms.

Another illustration is when the professor asks, "Is consciousness a scientific matter, or a matter of technology, or a conceptual matter?" You can see the lack of thought concerning science and technology - the latter is but a branching result of the former, and should not have been mentioned separately. As for 'a conceptual matter' - this is where the misguidance of religion steps in, resulting in mountains of mysticism which are great for dopamine high's, but for absolutely nothing else.

As for deficient paradigm's misguidance in AI, the professor notes that some philosophers hold that "AI will never equal human intelligence" - and what immediately hit me here was the lack of definition for 'intelligence', the nebulous and vague nature of the term having been accepted - complacently.

Plethora of Off-the-Mark Terms
I did like the term (new to me) "evolutionary definition of consciousness" (as opposed to other perspectives, such as 'neural' and 'micro' biological definitions), a term which I can now apply to my (what I call a) 'Potentially-Useful Perspective' - where consciousness developed to enhance the obtaining of nutrients (a goal which humans still have not advanced beyond - though religions, to their credit, have offered advances, though red herrings - based on pure make-believe). Off-the-mark terms include 'creative consciousness' and 'state consciousness' (which mistakes the mind's ability to multitask with separate individual states, such as when we drive on automatic - mistaking that 'state' for a separate state of consciousness rather than mere multitasking). Other terms of mental convolutions include "HOT" (higher-order thinking) and 'explanatory gap' - which uses the present explanatory gap between (our understanding of) the physical and the mental as 'proof' for their separateness, rather than as an indication of our present ignorance.

Noteworthy
The professor noted that one philosopher noted that we needed a field of complementary study to epistemology (and a colorful label, maybe 'con-epistemology') to study why we do not know things (and religions, deficient paradigms, and speculations which, for whatever reasons, become academic dogma, will top that list).

Summary
A cruel future would call the content of these lectures 'laughable', and 'a good book from a mental fossil'. A sympathetic future would deem it a noble attempt to elevate the deficient paradigm of its time. I would call it a cavalcade of past and present wrongheaded thinking, and as such, they are valuable as historic evidence of the mental state of humanity to date.

Also, the professor, like philosophers of the past (and many of the present) still mistakenly thinks that discovering aspects of physical reality is within the purview of philosophy (for example the professor wastes a lot of time speculating on neural biology (like a bad color commentator), such as philosophically trying to answer 'how does vision work', when it is better left to empirical science). The professor does sense speculation's role in science - during the phase when there is still little to no data, and where speculation provides possible avenues of further investigation.

The professor's physics was lacking - he did not describe the molecular basis for light correctly, which brings up the issue of the basis for philosophy itself - where the 'ideal' philosophy (objective ethical) will have considered 'all' current verified knowledge, and lacking that (inevitable), an adequate amount (for an 'adequate' philosophy). An inadequate philosophy will have considered an inadequate amount of verified knowledge, with religions at the bottom (which ignore all verified knowledge).


























2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

great series

Where does Philosophy of Mind: Brains, Consciousness, and Thinking Machines rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

among the best - fascinating and well-presented

What did you like best about this story?

relevant to my work as a psychiatrist and residency training director

What about Professor Patrick Grim’s performance did you like?

energetic performance, useful analogies, explanations, history (of ideas) and context

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

no

Any additional comments?

I like this series so much I'm using it in a course

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Extensive and well rounded

What did you love best about Philosophy of Mind: Brains, Consciousness, and Thinking Machines?

I liked that this series took the problem of consciousness seriously, as David Chalmers might say. This series of lectures doesn't present the hard problem and then give a easy-problem solution dressed up as something that crosses the explanatory gap as some authors do.

What other book might you compare Philosophy of Mind: Brains, Consciousness, and Thinking Machines to and why?

The Implications of consciousness (also part of the great courses)

What about Professor Patrick Grim’s performance did you like?

He gave a fair amount of time to various perspectives.

What’s the most interesting tidbit you’ve picked up from this book?

The most interesting tidbit that there are actually antitheories - it has always seemed clear to me that science could never give an illuminating explanation, solution to the mind/body problem. But I didn't know that such a stance rests on something called and antitheory.

Any additional comments?

Sometimes the way the professor talks can REALLY get on my nerves for some reason and that actually made listening to this somewhat less enjoyable than other professors like Daniel Robinson.

7 people found this helpful

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Chris
  • Chris
  • 04-23-15

Absolutely loved it!

A thoroughly engaging listen. I had not studied philosophy of mind for around 17 years since studying the subject at university and wanted a good overview/ refresher as I will be teaching the subject next term at AS level. The course was in a good level of depth and the professor had such an enthusiasm for the subject that I was left wanting more after each lecture. The thought experiments were particularly fun, I will certainly be using them with my students. I would certainly listen to more audio books in this series and more by this professor.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anon
  • Anon
  • 08-31-20

Excellent

I have a PhD in philosophy and fully recommend this series of talks to anyone interested in the subject. The lectures are well set out and Patrick Grim does great job of critically engaging with each topic as the arise. I know many moan about phone use - I can hear myself talking to my own children - but to think all this comes with 1 credit on audible amazing. My dogs have never been fitter!!

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Faon
  • Faon
  • 06-23-16

An excellent overview

I am a psychiatrist who is interested in Philosophy and neuroscience, I really enjoyed this series of lectures I thought it covered a lot of ground quickly and clearly,I like the speaking voice

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Gerry Lynch
  • Gerry Lynch
  • 03-26-14

Wonderful

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes, especially for anyone interested in the human condition

What did you like best about this story?

It is course of lectures, I have studied psychology and found this to be a fascinating tangent from standard psychology. It certainly puts some of the psychological ideas into a different perspective

Which scene did you most enjoy?

AI

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No best at one lecture a day- let it sink in

Any additional comments?

These Great Courses are great, well worth multiple listens. The lecturers are certainty amongst the best I have heard.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Johnny
  • Johnny
  • 02-14-15

Loved it

I need to listen to it again so I can process this information. Not because it's hard to understand ! A subject as big as this for me can not be understood as a whole in one listening which makes it great, a history of the mind should not be taken lightly

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for CFye
  • CFye
  • 02-21-15

Exceptional

I've thoroughly enjoyed the previous three Great Course lecture series I listened to - but 'Philosophy of Mind' is in a class of it's own.
Each lecture felt like an adventure story, without losing any academic rigour, and the whole series tied beautifully from beginning to end.
I finished the course filled with 'where to from here' questions - what neuroplasticity and theories of network intelligence could add to the debate - and a much satisfied love of learning.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Amy
  • Amy
  • 12-05-20

A great intro!

Brilliant summary of the majority of theories and debates surrounding consciousness, the mind and AI technology. Lecturer is engaging and plays out the information clearly.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for N. M. Kosky
  • N. M. Kosky
  • 02-20-20

Really good

As an amateur philosopher currently struggling with getting to grips with the state of play regarding the hard problem of consciousness, this was an absolute boon! Aimed at the interested layman rather than the seasoned expert, this gives an undergraduate level but still serious overview of the whole field up to Chalmers and his critics and the HOT theory. recommended for anyone who is curious about how they got to be curious! Grim's narration is excellent as well.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for W. Park
  • W. Park
  • 02-21-19

Warren

Very thorough analysis. Need the time and concentration to stay with it over 23 chapters

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Dordije Tripkovic
  • Dordije Tripkovic
  • 08-28-18

A very good course!

Interesting topic presented in an exciting way. The lecturer examines different theories objectively and avoids dogmatical conclusions. Narration is also very good. My cordial recommendation.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 10-23-18

great book

in depth and comprehensive, yet understandable to layperson. thought provoking and enjoyable. worth a read

1 person found this helpful