Skip to main content

Philosophy of Mind (PH253-15)

Timing & CATS

This module will run in the Spring Term and is worth 15 CATS

Module Description

This module provides an introduction to issues in the metaphysics and epistemology of mind. The principle metaphysical question is this: what must the world be like in order to make true the various claims that we make about or own and others’ minds? Here we will look at substance dualism and various forms of physicalism and functionalism. We will also look at the metaphysics of perceptual experience and the relation that it provides between mind and world. This links metaphysical and epistemological issues. On the epistemological side we will look the nature of our knowledge of our own and others’ mental states. Specific topics to be discussed will include the following: Substance dualism, Physicalism: type and token identity theories, Functionalism, Internalism and externalism, The nature of perceptual experience, Self-knowledge, Other minds. The following is an excellent sourcebook of relevant readings: D. Chalmers (ed.), Philosophy of Mind: Classical and Contemporary Readings.

Learning Outcomes or Aims

By the end of the module the student should be able to: 1.understand, analyse and apply key theoretical approaches in contemporary philosophy of mind, and explain the issues at stake in debates between them; 2.identify and assess different argumentative strategies used in the philosophy of mind to address specific questions, and articulate central theoretical concepts that inform different answers to those questions; 3.develop and defend their own judgement about competing views in philosophy of mind, and express themselves clearly and with precision; 4.recognize the distinctive contributions that various quite different approaches make to philosophical argument in the philosophy of mind, and the challenge of integrating these different contributions; arrive at a defensible conception of the nature of philosophy of mind itself.

Contact Time

In this module students must attend 2 hours of lectures and 1 hour of seminars per week

Lectures for 2017-18

Friday 2pm to 4pm in LIB1

Seminars for 2017-18

Seminars for this course start in week 2

There will be no lectures in reading week (week 6)

Please sign up for a seminar group using Tabula

Assessment Methods

This module will be assessed in the following way:

  • One 1,500-word essay (worth 15% of the module)
  • One 2-hour examination (worth 85% of the module)

Essays should be submitted to Tabula in line with the essay deadlines schedule.

Background Reading & Textbooks

The following is an excellent sourcebook of relevant readings: D. Chalmers (ed.), Philosophy of Mind: Classical and Contemporary Readings.

Course materials

From October 2016 course materials will be available on Moodle. Simply sign in and select the module from your Moodle home page.

Please note you must be regisitered for the module on eMR in order to access the relevant page.

Module Tutor


Professor Naomi Eilan

N dot Eilan at warwick dot ac dot uk