HPS/PL 133: Philosophy and Neuroscience
Steven Quartz, Dabney 209
Week 1: Introduction
Week 2 (Apr 3): The Social Brain and Other Minds
Lieberman, Social Cognitive Neuroscience: A Review of Core Processes
Singer, The neuronal basis and ontogeny of empathy and mind reading
Week 4 (Apr 17): Reward, Value, and Decisions
Schultz, W. Multiple Reward Signals in the Brain
Bechara, A. The role of emotion in decision making
Kringelbach, The Human Orbitofrontal Cortex
Optional Reading, Fried, Syndrome E
Week 5 (Apr 24) The Social and Neural Self:
Leary, Motivational and Emotional Aspects of the Self
Atance, C. & O'Neill, D. Episodic Future Thinking
Buckner, Self-Projection and the Brain
Tangney, Moral Emotions and Moral Behavior (optional)
Week 6 (May 1): Moral Value I: Foundations
Moll, the neural basis of moral cognition
Greene, The neural basis of cognitive conflict and control in Moral Judgment
May 22 Class: combining Moral Value II and Free Will and Agency I: discussion question only for Moral Value II readings.
Moral Value II: Social
Brennan & Petit, The Hidden Economy of Esteem
Delgado, Perceptions of Moral Character
Singer, Brain responses to the acquired moral status of faces
Free Will and Agency 1
Sapolsky, Frontal Cortex and the Criminal Justice System
Greene, For the Law, Neuroscience Changes Everything and Nothing
Goodenough, Responsibility and Punishment
May 29 Class
Making the Right Choice
If anyone is interested in the issue of conscious will, here is a suggested reading (NOT required for class). Illusion of Conscious Will
NEW PAPER DUE DATE: Saturday June 9. Papers can be emailed to me (by 8:00pm).
Suggested Paper Topics
1. Emotion vs. Reason. This topic can explore the changing view of the relationship between emotion and reason (cognition). What are emotions, what has brain science revealed about the role of emotions and what role do they play in decision-making? Topics could also explore such issues as whether computer science needs to seriously consider emotions in order to build intelligent machines (e.g., Marvin Minksy).
2. Ethics and the Brain. This topic area can explore the changing view of ethical decision-making. It could be a part of the emotion/reason topic as well.
3. Free Will, the brain, and the law. This topic area can look at the implications of brain science for the law (legal responsibility) or more generally for the capacity to make free choice. It could focus on such issues as the recent use of brain science as evidence in the Supreme Court's decision that the death penalty for minors is not constitutional. Or, it could consider whether neuroscience could be used as a way to take into consideration various degrees of legal/moral responsibility.
4. Unconscious vs. conscious decision-making. Is it always better to make decisions based on conscious deliberation? How do problems of different complexity require different strategies?
5. Other topic areas are the implications of brain science for issues of privacy (what would happen if an employer asked for a brain scan)? Lie detection and brain imaging, brain imaging and predicting antisocial behavior.