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The University of Southampton

PHIL6053 Mind, Knowledge and Reality

Module Overview

Mind, Knowledge and Reality offers you the opportunity to explore in detail some central issues and texts in the Western philosophical tradition that address issues in philosophy of mind, epistemology and/or metaphysics. The module may focus on an important text, or a significant body of literature.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

• To familiarise you with some central issues or texts in philosophy of mind, epistemology and/or metaphysics • To help you to identify the main themes and problems and proposed solutions in the works studied • To help you to assess critically the philosophical merits of the views and solutions advanced in the works studied • To help you to identify the connections between the different philosophical themes, problems and solutions running though the works studied • help you to assess critically the merits of the works studied

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • the central themes, problems and arguments in the texts studied.
  • the relationship between the different works studied, where appropriate.
  • how to undertake independent research appropriate to the production of an assessed essay
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • identifying the central themes and problems in a philosophical text
  • identifying main views and solutions offered by the authors
  • identifying authors’ arguments in support of the above
  • critically assess complex philosophical texts. This involves: - identifying and explaining solutions to the philosophical questions and problems proposed in the central texts - assessing the cogency and success of the above - identifying and explaining other possible solutions and assessing their relative merits
  • articulate, present and debate philosophical ideas, both orally and in writing, in an open-minded but rigorous way
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • research a complex topic independently
  • present the outcome of your research orally in a seminar context
  • engage in group discussion, making and taking constructive criticism
  • summarise the central themes, questions, problems and solutions related to that topic
  • critically assess the cogency and success of proposed solutions
  • write a clear and well-structured overview of the main issues, possible problems and solutions relevant to topic being examined
  • manage the time and resources available to you in order to achieve success in the above tasks


The syllabus will vary from year to year, depending on the research interests of the module coordinator. Some recent topics include: - McDowell's Mind and World - Wittgenstein's Philosophical Investigations - Perceptual Knowledge - Strawson's Individuals

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching activities include • Seminars Learning activities include • Reading assigned material • Attending seminars and contributing to discussion • Preparing and giving presentations • Doing research for and writing assessed essays

Wider reading or practice25
Follow-up work40
Preparation for scheduled sessions40
Completion of assessment task25
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Resources. Module tutors will recommend a range of secondary literature in light of the primary texts selected.



MethodPercentage contribution
Essay  (3000 words) 80%
Presentation  (15 minutes) 20%


MethodPercentage contribution
Resubmit assessments 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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