1 title per month from Audible’s entire catalog of best sellers, and new releases.
Access a growing selection of included Audible Originals, audiobooks and podcasts.
You will get an email reminder before your trial ends.
Your Premium Plus plan is $14.95 a month after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
Philosophy of Mind: Brains, Consciousness, and Thinking Machines  By  cover art

Philosophy of Mind: Brains, Consciousness, and Thinking Machines

By: Patrick Grim,The Great Courses
Narrated by: Patrick Grim
Try for $0.00

$14.95/month after 30 days. 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
    750
  • 4 Stars
    209
  • 3 Stars
    56
  • 2 Stars
    7
  • 1 Stars
    9
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    672
  • 4 Stars
    161
  • 3 Stars
    44
  • 2 Stars
    8
  • 1 Stars
    5
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    619
  • 4 Stars
    184
  • 3 Stars
    53
  • 2 Stars
    13
  • 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."

64 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.

18 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.

17 people found this helpful

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

There are better philosophy of mind courses

If you like dualism, you will like this lecture series. If, like me, you think many of the arguments in support of dualism amount to pseudoscience founded upon truly bad logic, then the focus of this lecture series will annoy you, to a very large degree. There are extremely simple, and readily available, arguments that easily dispute the nonphysical nature of "mysterious" epiphenomenal aspects of subjective experience. Grim is quick to speak up when he feels an argument needs a critical eye. Unfortunately, he is not in possession of a critical eye when it is most needed.

If Mary, Frank Jackson's expert in neuroscience, gains something new through her subjective experience of seeing red, that does *not* in fact mean that science fails to capture that. If she gains something new from observation, than her observation is indeed part of the science of seeing red. Observation has long been part of scientific discovery. He is far too enamored with Jackson's argument (and similar arguments) to call up his ability to think critically. The logic was so bad. If he had said, (fill in philosopher's name) posits (fill in what they posit), then it would have been balanced. Instead, he doubts science, much like a creationist, and is in love with arguments that suffer from lack of logic.

As a cognitive neuroscience major, I took philosophy of mind. The course covered everything in this lecture. However, there was no attempt to indoctrinate the student. The professor was able to provide various arguments and critiques without becoming too invested in arguments that were easily destroyed by science. I truly hope this course is not representative of how courses are being taught at typical universities.

10 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

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

Outstanding lectures on a challenging topic

What does Professor Patrick Grim bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Patrick Grim doe a very good job of making these very complex ideas palpable to the non-scientist and non-philosopher. He sounds a little like John Lithgow (not a complaint, just an observation.)

6 people found this helpful

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

Outstanding

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

Yes, this has been a wonderful listen. I will probably listen 3 more times and return next year in an annual rotation

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

The professor is captivating, hooked me with Einstein's brain

Which scene was your favorite?

every lecture is very good

Any additional comments?

I have enjoyed the Great courses, great add audible!

6 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
    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

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 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 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
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 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
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for abi
  • abi
  • 02-05-16

Such a waste of time

Would you try another book written by The Great Courses or narrated by Professor Patrick Grim?

by this professor, of course not.

What could The Great Courses have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

It would be better to work more on cohesion of the issues. This course is almost like a reading a dictionary.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

He narrates it like a bedtime story.

You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?

Not really. I would not buy it if I knew the quality of that.

2 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
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Jim Spence
  • Jim Spence
  • 02-07-22

Again

This was so good that I am going to listen to it again, enjoyed every minute

  • 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
  • 12-16-21

highly recommended

very informative and educational.
easy to listen too & each lecture is very well broken down into smaller digestible talks.

  • 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.

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