Philosophy of Mind and Language

Online Philosophy Class Mind Language Dr Daniel Fincke

*New Classes Start As Soon As Interested Students Request Them!

*Write me at to let me know the times you would be available for a once weekly class and let me know that you want to study Philosophy of Mind and Language. I will then send out information to all my other prospective students that a class is starting and we will be on our way to a new class!

*Starting September 7, Tuesdays 4pm-6pm, I will be teaching a special class on 20th Century Philosophy which will heavily focus on the “linguistic turn” of the 20th Century that created the contemporary field of analytic philosophy and subfield of Philosophy of Language.

*Brand new students attend their first session FREE as a no-commitment trial! No enrollment necessary for first time attendees to my classes, just e-mail me at camelswithhammers@gmail to know you’re coming to an already scheduled class and I will give you all the information on how to attend. Students are welcome to start attending a class midway as each week’s topics are self-contained. So if you can’t make it the first week(s), there is still time to join us midstream.

2015 Class Offerings

My Philosophy of Mind and Language class is the one most focused on contemporary philosophy. It deals almost exclusively with the 20th-21st Century study of the philosophy of mind and the philosophy of language, primarily in the analytic tradition. We start with seminal figures like Russell, Frege, and Wittgenstein, but devote most of the course to the hottest philosophy of mind and language debates of the last 40 years. We also make room for a few weeks on the European traditions of Phenomenology, Structuralism, Poststructuralism, and Deconstructionism, all of which were ascendent in the last century.

Specifically, we will explore questions related to semantics, meaning, reference, the nature of consciousness, whether artificial intelligence can be ever have a mind or consciousness, the relationship between minds and bodies, the extent our minds are or are not like computers, whether or not there is such a thing as a universal and innate mental language, the extent to which languages and other social structures can be said to “create” the world for us rather than merely represent it to us, the mental capacities of animals, the nature of perception, the meaning and truth of concepts like belief, desire, and pain, whether our “folk” understandings of our inner life based on subjective experience can form the basis of knowledge of psychology or whether it is irrelevant and needs to be supplanted with an entirely different and empirically derived set of categories, what constitutes the kind of mental freedom necessary to make moral responsibility legitimate, the connections between language and logic, the relevance of philosophy of language to understanding moral utterances about things like goodness or badness, rightness or wrongness, etc., the relevance of philosophy of language to understanding the nature of religious beliefs, how speech acts create social meanings and how social meanings transform propositional statements into speech acts, and more.

Each week I rotate to another self-contained topic so students can join in at any time without worrying about having missed anything. While students can keep attending as long as they want and there will always be fresh lectures, most students take about 16 weeks of a given class before moving on to another. So over the course of any given 16 week run of sessions, as students rotate into the class and out at their own pace, I cover all the major topics of the course.

There is no university credit for attending these class sessions. For more about me, see this page.

Official enrollments into classes are by subscription costing $39.99/week and they grant a student a weekly 2 hour live and interactive group class session, led by me directly. I understand that sometimes students are busy and can’t make it every week. My motto is “the year is long”, we have plenty of time to do philosophy when you are available. I occasionally have to cancel class myself and will also refund you in those cases. All your absences and canceled class sessions are automatically refunded, no questions asked, so you wind up paying only for sessions that I actually hold and that you actually attend. And you can automatically self-cancel your subscription completely at any time, using Paypal (or ask me to cancel it for you). There is no outside reading or writing required. I take it as my responsibility to catch students up to speed on the ideas we’re covering so that students are able to fully engage with the concepts for themselves without independent research. Sometimes we will read aloud, explicate, and criticize portions of books and articles  together to help us orient our discussion more concretely. Students interested in outside reading will be provided with suggestions upon request. But I find that these classes work best (and students attend most frequently) when they fit into students’ otherwise busy schedule as a once weekly source of rest, intellectual reinvigoration, and mentally stimulating social interaction, rather than as a source of work throughout the week.

Guaranteed 1-on-1 class sessions are also available. They are typically 1 hour long (but we can work out longer sessions if you prefer) and cost $39.99/hr. Write me at to inquire about 1-on-1 classes or to ask me about possible changes to the group class schedules to accommodate you. I am flexible.

Occasionally there are scholarships available so subscribe to the e-mails (see the top left of this page) even if you cannot yet afford the classes. All paying students are welcome to have their partner, roommate, friends, or others share their computer screen and participate in class with them.

Use the drop down menu below to access the times for the Philosophy of Mind and Language classes and to purchase a subscription to attend the class weekly. You can join the class starting any week and at any point that you are satisfied you have gotten enough out of this class you can transfer your subscription to another class from thereon out.

2015 Class Offerings

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