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PH201B: WHAT WE ARE: MIND IN A PHYSICAL WORLD (2020-2021)

Last modified: 05 Aug 2021 13:04


Course Overview

Watch the course video! In this course we explore a series of arguments which suggest that it is hard to fit the mind into the physical world. In particular, we 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 First Sub Session Credit Points 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits)
Campus Aberdeen Sustained Study No
Co-ordinators
  • Dr Gerard Hough

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

  • Any Undergraduate Programme (Studied)

What other courses must be taken with this course?

None.

What courses cannot be taken with this course?

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.


In light of Covid-19 this information is indicative and may be subject to change.

Contact Teaching Time

Information on contact teaching time is available from the course guide.

Teaching Breakdown

  • 1 Tutorial during University weeks 9 - 17

More Information about Week Numbers


In light of Covid-19 and the move to blended learning delivery the assessment information advertised for second half-session courses may be subject to change. All updates for second-half session courses will be actioned in advance of the second half-session teaching starting. Please check back regularly for updates.

Summative Assessments

2x online tests (30% each)

2x 750 word writing exercises (20% each)

Formative Assessment

There are no assessments for this course.

Course Learning Outcomes

Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome
FactualRememberILO’s for this course are available in the course guide.

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