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Courses / Modules / PHIL6055 Other Minds

Other Minds

When you'll study it
Semester 2
CATS points
ECTS points
Level 7
Module lead
William Mcneill

Module overview

For most of us, there is nothing more fundamental than our ability to interact with other people. We cooperate and compete in complex ways. Competing and cooperating in these complex ways requires that we understand and respond to many aspects of each other's mental lives. You can often tell whether your friend is happy or angry, or that they believe - perhaps falsely - that the milk is in the fridge. Yet it is hard to understand how we can secure this knowledge of other's mental lives. We cannot know about others' minds in the way that we know about our own. And there is no simple or universal connection between what is on people's minds and how they behave. Moreover we can often not trace our knowledge to any clear or continuous process of conscious reasoning.

In this module we study various theories concerning our knowledge of others' minds. These may include theories as to the epistemology of how we know about others' minds, cognitive theories as to how we come to form the beliefs we do about them, and questions as to how answering the question of how we know about others' minds might relate to our concepts of mentality. Discussion is tied into broader epistemological, cognitive and conceptual questions.

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