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Unit information: Philosophy of Mind in 2015/16

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Unit name Philosophy of Mind
Unit code PHIL20010
Credit points 20
Level of study I/5
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Anya Farennikova
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of Philosophy
Faculty Faculty of Arts

Description including Unit Aims

The unit is concerned with the nature of mind and its relation to the natural physical world. It divides into roughly two parts, the first dealing with metaphysical issues, the second epistemological ones. The metaphysical part deals with the question of the relation between a person's mind and his/her body and its states. In the epistemological part of the unit, we examine how a person knows about his/her own mind, and how he/she can know about the minds of others.

The aim of this course is to address a group of closely related questions: Is the mind identical to the brain? What are phenomenal properties? Are they reducible to the entities postulated by current science? How does the mind represent the world?

Intended Learning Outcomes

By the end of this module students will

(1) developed a detailed knowledge of and acquired an in-depth understanding of: [a] the mind/brain identity thesis; [b] functionalist theories of the mind; [c] phenomenal consciousness; and [d] theories of intentionality.

(2) gained familiarity with some of the central literature on (a)-(d)

(3) developed skills in the researching, reading and presentation of complex material, on these topics, as appropriate to Level-I.

Teaching Information

11 lectures and 11 seminars

Assessment Information

Formative: two 2,000-2500 word essays designed to test intended learning outcomes (1)-(3).

Summative: one 3-hour unseen exam designed to test intended learning outcomes (1)-(3).

Reading and References

  • D. Chalmers, Philosophy of Mind: classical and contemporary readings (OUP 2002)
  • Braddon-Mitchell and Jackson, Philosophy of Mind and Cognition, 2nd ed (Blackwell 2007)
  • Clark, Mindware (OUP 2001)
  • J. Searle, Intentionality (CUP 1983)
  • The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Mind (OUP 2009)