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2019/20 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

PHIL1005 The Mind

10 creditsClass Size: 205

Module manager: Dr Adam Balmer

Taught: Semester 2 View Timetable

Year running 2019/20

This module is mutually exclusive with

PHIL1105The Mind - Discovery Themes

Module replaces

PHIL1500 The Mind

This module is approved as a discovery module

Module summary

Could an android think? How could we know that other people experience the world in the same way as we do? Can our minds survive bodily death?If you have ever asked these questions, then The Mind is the module you need. The module will cover the foundational issues in the philosophy of mind, raising questions and addressing puzzles that have troubled thinkers since ancient times. A particular focus will be on the "Mind-Body" problem: the task of explaining the relationship between beliefs and desires, experiences, and emotions on the one hand; and physical states of the brain and movements of the body on the other. In modern times there has been intense interest in the scientific study of the mind and brain by psychologists and neuroscientists. Can this work answer our longstanding philosophical questions about the relation between mind and body? Or do the ancient puzzles still persist?The module is taught with lectures, tutorials and proctorials throughout semester 2. You do not need previous background in philosophy to take this course. For further information see Department of Philosophy.


On completion of this module, students should have a basic ability to:
- understand some of the main concepts, principles and positions in the philosophy of mind
- assess critically various philosophical asnwers to the "mind-body problem"
- practise the general philosophical skills of critical analysis and argument.


Topics to be treated will typically include:

- What is the relation of the mind to the body?
- Can computers really think?
- Can nonhuman animals think?
- What is a person's self?
- What is consciousness?
- Were all your thoughts and actions physically determined before you were born?
- How should we interpret spiritual states of consciousness?

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours84.00
Total Contact hours16.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)100.00

Private study

- Lecture preparation (20 hours)
- Tutorial preparation (24 hours)
- Writing first essay, reflecting on comments (25 hours)
- Writing second essay (15 hours)

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

A 1,000-word assessed essay will be due midway through the semester. Several essay topics will be given out and the student will write on one of the topics. Students receive detailed written feedback from tutors.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay1,000 word essay in the middle of the module50.00
Essay1,000 word essay at the end of the module50.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 22/01/2020


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