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

Postgraduate Course: Philosophy of Mind and Cognitive Science (Online) (PHIL11130)

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)
Course typeOnline Distance Learning AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course examines how the mind fits into the physical world. This is one of the central issues in contemporary philosophy of mind and cognitive science, and we will address it by examining some of the following questions:
- How do our everyday explanations of behaviour, e.g., Asha walked to the shops because she needed to buy bread, relate to neurological explanations of that same behaviour, e.g., Asha walked to the shops because of activity in her motor cortex?
- Does the mind work like a computer?
- Where is my mind? Is it in the head or can it extend beyond my skull and into the world?
- What is innate knowledge, and do we have any?
- What is the nature of introspection?

These issues bring together traditional concerns from the philosophy of mind and findings from psychology and neuroscience, and we will draw on a variety of sources in exploring possible answers to these questions.
Course description Students will learn about core topics in philosophy of mind and cognitive science, e.g. representational theories of mind, theories of consciousness, the relation between conscious and non-conscious processes, levels of analysis of the mind, and evolutionary considerations in cognitive science.
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 2024/25, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  0
Course Start Semester 1
Course Start Date 16/09/2024
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture 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) Literature review - 25%
Essay - 75%
Feedback 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
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Present complex ideas in-depth, in a succinct manner.
  2. Critically analyse and challenge philosophical positions.
  3. Develop the skills to conduct literature surveys necessary for an essay.
  4. Gain confidence in using empirical work to support philosophical arguments.
Reading List
The reading list will be developed over the summer in collaboration with the decolonisation library team.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Students will improve their critical thinking and analysis skills. They will develop curiousity about the literature and have ample opportunity to practice contemporary research practices, e.g. diverse literature reviews, questioning the background of canonical thinkers etc.
Keywordsphilosophy of mind,cognitive science
Course organiserDr Suilin Lavelle
Tel: (0131 6)50 3665
Course secretaryMs Olivia Coltman
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