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

Postgraduate Course: Self, Agency and the Will MSc (PHIL11088)

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 gives MSc students the opportunity to engage with issues surrounding the zombie challenge.

Shared with UG course Self, Agency and the Will PHIL10082.

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 The course will provide an introduction to one of the most exciting debates in the interdisciplinary field between philosophy and the cognitive sciences. It will examine the relationship between our phenomenal sense of agency and the sub-personal behavioural control layers that scientific psychology and the neurosciences describe.
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
Academic year 2019/20, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  8
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 22, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 174 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) One 2500 word essay (100%)
Word limit: 2500 words maximum (excluding references)
Feedback Students have the opportunity to submit a formative essay by week 6 deadline on Turnitin via Learn. The essay cannot be draft of summative essay but it can be on the same topic.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. understand the literature on the zombie challenge
  2. use empirical literature in a philosophical context
  3. critically discuss the relationship between our phenomenal sense of agency and subpersonal behavioural control layers
  4. understand why it can be problematic to rely on introspection
  5. apply the issues raised by the zombie challenge in a moral psychology context
Reading List
For a core reading on the zombie challenge see Clark, Andy, Julian Kiverstein, and Tillmann Vierkant, eds. Decomposing the will. Oxford University Press, 2013.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Reading, understanding and critically engaging with complex texts; critical thinking; constructive oral engagement; essay writing. Interdisciplinary thinking
KeywordsConscious Will,Sense of Agency,Libet,Wegner,Mental Actions,Introspection
Course organiserDr Tillman Vierkant
Tel: (0131 6)51 3748
Course secretaryMs Becky Verdon
Tel: (0131 6)50 3860
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