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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences : Philosophy

Postgraduate Course: Metaphysics of Mind MSc (PHIL11066)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course focuses on the two mind-body problems. The first concerns the relationship between the mind and the physical world. We tend to behave in such a way that our desires are fulfilled if our beliefs are true. But how can mental states cause our body to move? The second concerns consciousness. If our best physical sciences are right, then our world is entirely composed of physical objects and properties. But how do we place consciousness in such a world?

Shared with the undergraduate version of the course PHIL10077 Metaphysics of Mind

For courses co-taught with undergraduate students and with no remaining undergraduate spaces left, a maximum of 8 MSc students can join the course. Priority will be given to MSc students who wish to take the course for credit on a first come first served basis after matriculation.
Course description Week 1: Substance Dualism
Week 2: Mind-Body Identity Theory
Week 3: Functionalism
Week 4: Phenomenal Consciousness
Week 5: Jackson's Knowledge Argument
Week 6: Kripke's Modal Argument
Week 7: The Explanatory Gap
Week 8: Nonmateralist Physicalism
Week 9: Naturalising Representation
Week 10: Higher Order Thought Theory
Week 11: The Cartesian Theatre
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. understand competing major contemporary theories of the nature of the mental and its relationship with the physical world
  2. critically assess various conceivability arguments against physicalism, such as the knowledge argument
  3. critically assess the nature of the ¿hard problem¿ of consciousness, along with some possible responses to it
Reading List
Recommended textbooks include:

David J. Chalmers (ed.) (2002), Philosophy of Mind: Classical and Contemporary Readings, New York: Oxford University Press [PM]

Jaegwon Kim (2010), The Philosophy of Mind, Third Edition, Oxford: Westview Press [TPM]

Tim Crane (2001), Elements of Mind, Oxford: Oxford University Press [EM]

Paul M. Churchland (1988), Matter and Consciousness, Revised Edition, Malden, MA: MIT Press [MC]

Brian McLaughlin and Jonathan Cohen (eds.) (2007), Contemporary Debates in Philosophy of Mind, Oxford: Blackwell [CDPM].

Ansgar Beckermann, Brian P. McLaughlin and Sven Walter (eds.) (2009), Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Mind, Oxford: Oxford University Press [OHPM]

Many of the class readings will be taken from the Chalmers anthology, though most of these papers are also available online.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills (i) Presentation and writing skills
(ii) Analytical and critical skills
KeywordsPhilosophy of mind,metaphysics
Course organiserDr Keith Wilson
Course secretaryMs Becky Verdon
Tel: (0131 6)50 3860
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