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Level 5

5AANB012 Philosophy of Mind


Credit value: 15
Module tutorProfessor Matthew Soteriou


  • Summative assessment: 1 x 2-hour examination (100%)
  • Formative assessment: 1 x 2,000 word essay


  • Summative assessment: 1 x 2-hour examination (100%)
  • Formative assessment: 1 x 2,000 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.
Pre-requisites: none

This course focuses on questions in the philosophy of mind. We will approach this topic by thinking through some problems that arise from reflecting on the metaphysics and epistemology of the mind. What is a mind? How does the mind relate to the brain and our behaviour? What is consciousness? What bearing do these metaphysical questions have on the following epistemological question: what is the difference between the way in which we know about our own minds, and how we know about the minds of others? In addressing these questions, we will cover topics central to contemporary philosophical discussions of the metaphysics and epistemology of mind.

Further information 

Module aims

The Philosophy of Mind module aims to give students the intellectual equipment to investigate for themselves the issues mentioned in the module description above on the basis of careful reading and critical reflection upon the key writings in the area.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the module, the students will be able to demonstrate intellectual, transferable and practicable skills appropriate to a Level 5 module and in particular will have:

  • developed a capacity for philosophical argument about the mind and mental phenomena

  • acquired a knowledge of some of the key philosophical writings about the nature of mind

  • understood the nature of some of the central problems in the philosophy of mind

  • encountered and evaluated a number of attempts to solve the philosophical problems under discussion

  • acquired an understanding of how problems in philosophy of mind relate to broader philosophical debates in areas of logic, metaphysics, epistemology and ethics

  • acquired an ability to relate the questions discussed to the work of philosophers studied in other modules

  • been encouraged to read with great care and reflected upon some difficult texts as well as introductory and secondary material

Past syllabi

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

Suggested reading

Many of the readings for the course can be found in the following collection of essays:

  • D. Chalmers (ed.) (2002) Philosophy of Mind: Classical and Contemporary Readings. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

The following are good introductory texts:

  • T. Crane (2001) The Elements of Mind. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • J. Kim (2010) Philosophy of Mind (3rd edition). Boulder: Westview Press.
  • J. Heil (2013) Philosophy of Mind: A Contemporary Introduction. (3rd Edition). Routledge

Blank space

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 between years.

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