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Unit information: Philosophy of Mind in 2019/20

Please note: Due to alternative arrangements for teaching and assessment in place from 18 March 2020 to mitigate against the restrictions in place due to COVID-19, information shown for 2019/20 may not always be accurate.

Please note: you are viewing unit and programme information for a past academic year. Please see the current academic year for up to date information.

Unit name Philosophy of Mind
Unit code PHIL20010
Credit points 20
Level of study I/5
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Professor. Tahko
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of Philosophy
Faculty Faculty of Arts


The unit is concerned with the nature of mind and its relation to the natural physical world. It divides into roughly two parts, the first dealing with metaphysical issues, the second epistemological ones. The metaphysical part deals with the question of the relation between a person's mind and his/her body and its states. In the epistemological part of the unit, we examine how a person knows about his/her own mind, and how he/she can know about the minds of others.

The aim of this unit is to address a group of closely related questions: Is the mind identical to the brain? What are phenomenal properties? Are they reducible to the entities postulated by current science? How does the mind represent the world?

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this unit students will be able to:

1. demonstrate detailed knowledge and in-depth understanding of the central debates and positions within the philosophy of mind,

2. demonstrate detailed knowledge and in-depth understanding of the key literature on those debates and positions,

3. demonstrate the ability to philosophically engage with the relevant debates and to critically assess the relevant positions, together with the key literature on these, to a standard appropriate to level I/5,

4. demonstrate skills in philosophical writing, of a standard appropriate to level I/5,

5. give clear and effective oral presentations explaining and critically analysing philosophical ideas and arguments.

Teaching details

22 1-hour lectures and 11 1-hour seminars

Assessment Details


1 x 1000 word assignment [ILOs (1)-(4)]


Oral presentation (15%) [ILOs (1)-(3), (5)]

1 x 2500 word essay (85%0 [ILOs (1)-(4)]

Reading and References

  • D. Chalmers, Philosophy of Mind: classical and contemporary readings (OUP 2002)
  • Braddon-Mitchell and Jackson, Philosophy of Mind and Cognition, 2nd ed (Blackwell 2007)
  • Clark, Mindware (OUP 2001)
  • J. Searle, Intentionality (CUP 1983)
  • The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Mind (OUP 2009)