PHIL2009 Philosophy of Mind
In this module, you will explore the contributions some of history’s greatest minds have made to aesthetics.
Aims and Objectives
Philosophy of mind explores questions about the nature of the mind and mental states – states such as perceptual experiences, beliefs, desires, and emotions. What is the mind? Is it an immaterial substance? Is it the brain? Is it something like a computer? Might it just be a useful fiction? In considering these questions we will pay particular attention to two central features of the mind: (i) that mental states play a central role in explaining behaviour (for example, my desire for coffee helps explain why I’m heading to the cafeteria); (ii) that some mental states are conscious: there is something it is like to feel pain, taste marmite, or see a sunset. We will study the various ways in which philosophers have tried to give an account of the mind that makes sense of these features.
Knowledge and Understanding
Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:
- of the central doctrines of contemporary philosophy of mind
- evaluate and compare these doctrines by reference to their capacity to account for key elements in our understanding of the mind, science and nature.
1) Dualism: is the mind an immaterial substance? 2) Behaviourism: is the mind reducible to behaviour? 3) Identity Theory: is the mind the brain? 4) Functionalism: are mental states functional states? 5) Mental Causation: can we make sense of the common-sense notion that mental states cause behaviour? 6) Consciousness: can we make sense of the familiar fact that some mental states are conscious? 7) Externalism about the Mind: what is the relationship between mind and world? Are mental states “in the head”?
Learning and Teaching
Teaching and learning methods
Reading the relevant material, attendance at lectures; taking notes; contributing to discussion in lectures and discussion hours; doing research for, preparing and giving presentations; preparing for exams; applying techniques and skills learned both inside and outside the module to your reading and writing.
|Total study time||150|
Resources & Reading list
I Ravenscroft. Philosophy of Mind: A Beginner’s Guide.
D Chalmers. Philosophy of Mind: Classic and Contemporary Readings.
J. Heil. Philosophy of Mind: A Contemporary Introduction.
|Examination (120 minutes)||60%|
|Examination (120 minutes)||100%|
Repeat type: Internal & External