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Module descriptions

7AAN2062 Philosophy of Mind II: Special Topics

THIS MODULE IS RUNNING IN 2017-18          

Credit value: 20
Module tutor: Professor Matthew Soteriou


  • Summative assessment: one 4,000-word essay (100%)
  • Formative assessment: one 2,000–3,000-word essay


  • Summative assessment: one 4,000-word essay (100%)
  • Formative assessment: one 2,000–3,000-word essay

Students are reassessed in the failed elements of assessment and by the same methods as the first attempt.

Teaching pattern: one one-hour weekly lecture and one one-hour weekly seminar over ten weeks.
Additional information: This module is normally compulsory for students in the MA Philosophy of Psychology programme.
Pre-requisites: none
Sample syllabus: 7AAN2062 module syllabus 2016-17

This module focuses on specific topics in contemporary philosophy of mind.  

Previous topics include:

Human Agency

This module introduces students to the philosophical conception of human agency. We shall explore topics such as the nature of agency, human actions and omissions, voluntary and involuntary actions, intentions and intentional actions; reasons for action; and the explanation of action. We shall also look at some problems concerning the relation between actions, intention and responsibility.

Mental Representation

This module concerns the nature of mental representation. We will explore a few aspects of the problem in depth, in particular the merits and difficulties of adopting a naturalistic approach to providing a theory of representational content. Teleosemantics and its successes and limitations will be a recurring theme, as will be the role that is played by information, of the correlational variety studied by mathematical information theory. The role of information will be compared with that played by isomorphisms (between representations and what is represented). There will also be a critical examination of the type of functions relied on by teleosemantics as grounding content, asking whether this approach is unduly restrictive.

Further information

Module aims

Students will acquire:

  • an advanced understanding of one or more central problems concerning Philosophy of Mind
  • an understanding of the central claims, arguments and solutions to be found in contemporary discussions of these topics
Learning outcomes

By the end of the module, the students will be able to demonstrate intellectual, transferable and practicable skills appropriate to a level-7 module and in particular will be able to demonstrate that they

  • have read closely and gained an understanding of relevant texts
  • can summarize arguments and positions
  • can support and challenge views and positions by constructing arguments and citing relevant considerations
  • can relate the issues and ideas under discussion to the work of philosophers and theories studied in other modules
  • have formed philosophical views of their own which they are prepared to defend or amend in the light of criticism 
Past syllabi

7ANN2062 module syllabus 2012-13 (pdf)
7AAN2062 module syllabus 2013-14 (pdf)
7AAN2062 module syllabus 2014-15 (pdf)
7AAN2062 module syllabus 2015-16 (pdf)

Please note that module syllabus and topics covered may vary from year to year.

More detailed information on the current year’s module (including the syllabus for that year) can be accessed on KEATS by all students and staff. 

Core reading


The modules run in each academic year are subject to change in line with staff availability and student demand so there is no guarantee every module will run. Module descriptions and information may vary depending between years. 

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