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PH251B: WHAT WE ARE: MIND IN A PHYSICAL WORLD (2016-2017)

Last modified: 13 Sep 2017 14:51


Course Overview

Watch the course video! We will explore a series of arguments which suggest that it is hard to fit the mind into the physical world. In particular, we will focus on three topics: the Mind/Body Problem, Free Will and Determinism, and Personal Identity. Each topic starts with an argument which suggests that we are not merely physical entities like brains, the central nervous system or other biological entities. Taken together, these arguments offer a serious challenge to the view that we can explain human cognition in terms of the physical characteristics of human brains and bodies.

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 2
Session Second Sub Session Credit Points 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits)
Campus None. Sustained Study No
Co-ordinators
  • Dr Stephan Torre

What courses & programmes must have been taken before this course?

  • Any Undergraduate Programme (Studied)
  • Either Programme Level 1 or Programme Level 2

What other courses must be taken with this course?

None.

What courses cannot be taken with this course?

None.

Are there a limited number of places available?

No

Course Description

In this course we will explore a series of arguments drawn from the Philosophy of Mind and Metaphysics which suggest that it is hard to fit the mind into the physical world. In particular, we will focus on three topics: the Mind/Body Problem, Free Will and Determinism, and Personal Identity. Each topic starts with an argument which suggests that minds, free agents, and persons are not identical or reducible to physical entities like brains, the central nervous system or other biological entities. Taken together, these arguments offer a serious challenge to the view that we can explain human cognition in terms of the physical characteristics of human brains and bodies. In this course you will have an opportunity to study the arguments in detail and consider for yourselves how deep a challenge this is to the scientific study of cognition and reason.

Degree Programmes for which this Course is Prescribed

None.

Contact Teaching Time

21 hours

This is the total time spent in lectures, tutorials and other class teaching.

Teaching Breakdown


Assessment

First attempt: one online test (20%), two 600 word essays (20% each), and one 1500 word essay (40%)

Resit: two 1000 word essays (50%) each

Formative Assessment

None.

Feedback

None.

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