Postgraduate Course: Theories of Mind (Philosophy MSc) (PHIL11021)
|School||School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences
||College||College of Humanities and Social Science
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
||Availability||Not available to visiting students
|Summary||This course examines selected conceptual and theoretical issues in the Philosophy of Mind, particularly with respect to computationalism and physicalism.
What is a mind, what are the essential characteristics distinguishing mental from non-mental systems? Two key features traditionally offered in response to this question are (1) representational content: mental states can be about external objects and states of affairs, they can represent and bear content or meaning; (2) conscious experience: only minds are consciously aware and have subjective, qualitative experiences, roughly, there is something it is like to be a mind. A central aim of the course will be to examine the extent to which these two features can be captured or explained by computational and/or physicalist methods, and to explore some of the conceptual issues basic to Cognitive Science and Artificial Intelligence as theoretical approaches to the mind.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
||Other requirements|| None
Course Delivery Information
|Academic year 2018/19, Not available to visiting students (SS1)
|Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info)
Seminar/Tutorial Hours 22,
Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4,
Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours
|Assessment (Further Info)
|Additional Information (Assessment)
||Assessment will be by a 2500 word essay (100%).
The topic of the essay will be developed by the student in consultation with the course organiser.
||Students have the opportunity to submit a formative essay. The essay cannot be draft of the summative essay but it can be on the same topic.
|No Exam Information
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- demonstrate core skills in philosophy, including the ability to interpret and engage with philosophical texts and evaluate arguments.
- understand and engage with key issues in the philosophy of mind, particularly with respect to computational theories of the mind
- exercise critical, analytic and communication skills developed via oral participation in seminars.
- deploy their skills in individual research through development of an essay topic and selection/exploration of a body of relevant academic literature.
- exercise written communication skills enhanced by developing and articulating their own critical ideas in response to research literature.
|Core Syllabus Topics|
- Turing and the Computational Paradigm
- Searle and the Chinese Room
- Dennett and Intentional Systems
- Fodor and the Language of Thought
- Putnam and Semantic Externalism
-The Boundaries of the Mind
- Physicalism and the Problem of Consciousness
- Non-classical Paradigms
 Lycan, W. and J. Prinz, Mind and Cognition, Third Edition,
 Chalmers, D., Philosophy of Mind, OUP.
 Haugeland, J., Mind Design II, MIT Press.
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
||Ability to analyse philosophical arguments
Ability to articulate and defend positions in a philosophical debate
Reading, understanding and critically engaging with complex texts; critical thinking; constructive oral engagement; essay writing an enhanced verbal and written communication skills.
|Keywords||Computational Paradigm,Mental Content,Physicalism,Problem of Consciousness
|Course organiser||Dr Paul Schweizer
Tel: (0131 6)50 2704
|Course secretary||Ms Becky Verdon
Tel: (0131 6)51 5002