PHIL 2039 - Philosophy of Mind

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2015

The human mind presents us with a number of mysteries. It is difficult to understand how minds fit into the physical world and interact with material things. It is hard to explain how minds are capable of representing the world in all its diversity. And it is a deep mystery how conscious experience, that most enigmatic feature of the mind, relates to our bodies and brains. Philosophy of Mind will consider all of these puzzles, and current attempts (both philosophical and scientific) to solve them.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code PHIL 2039
    Course Philosophy of Mind
    Coordinating Unit Philosophy
    Term Semester 1
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 3 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Prerequisites 12 units Level I Arts courses, including 3 units in Philosophy or PHIL 2030
    Incompatible PHIL 2016 or PHIL 3016
    Course Description The human mind presents us with a number of mysteries. It is difficult to understand how minds fit into the physical world and interact with material things. It is hard to explain how minds are capable of representing the world in all its diversity. And it is a deep mystery how conscious experience, that most enigmatic feature of the mind, relates to our bodies and brains. Philosophy of Mind will consider all of these puzzles, and current attempts (both philosophical and scientific) to solve them.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Professor Gerard O'Brien

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    1. Introduce students to three central problems in the philosophy of mind: the metaphysical status of mental states, the capacity for mental representation, and the nature of consciousness.
    2. Be aware of the main philosophical positions in philosophy of mind.
    3. Have experience in analyzing and critiquing written arguments.
    4. Show improvement in problem solving and critical reasoning skills.
    5. Be able to discuss and debate philosophical issues in a group setting.
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Knowledge and understanding of the content and techniques of a chosen discipline at advanced levels that are internationally recognised. 1-6
    The ability to locate, analyse, evaluate and synthesise information from a wide variety of sources in a planned and timely manner. 1-6
    An ability to apply effective, creative and innovative solutions, both independently and cooperatively, to current and future problems. 3-6
    Skills of a high order in interpersonal understanding, teamwork and communication. 3-6
    A proficiency in the appropriate use of contemporary technologies. 1-6
    A commitment to continuous learning and the capacity to maintain intellectual curiosity throughout life. 1-6
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    Tutorial readings and reading lists will be made available on MyUni.
    Recommended Resources
    The following are worth purchasing or borrowing:

    • Cummins, R. (1991) Meaning and Mental Representation, Bradford Books.
    • Revonsuo, A (2010) Consciousness: The Science of Subjectivity, Psychology Press.
    Online Learning
    Lecture notes will be made available on MyUni each week, and the lectures will be recorded. To prepare for tutorials, you are required to answer a set of tutorial questions. These will be made available on MyUni in the week preceding the tutorial.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    Lectures. There are two lectures each week, which can be attended in person or viewed on MyUni.
    Tutorials. Tutorials are designed to help you understand the lecture material, but may touch on other topics. To prepare for tutorials, please answer the questions made available each week on MyUni.
    Workload

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements. The information below is a guide to the average number of hours per week you should spend on this course.

    The total is (12 weeks x12 hours per week) = 144 hours over the whole semester.  

    1 x 2 hour lecture per week 
    1 hour tutorial per week 
    3 hours revision per week 
    3 hours tutorial preparation per week  
    3 hours assessment work (essay and exam preparation)  

    Total per week 12 hours
    Learning Activities Summary
    Topic 1: The Metaphysical Status of Mental States (2 Lectures)
    Dualism, materialism, behaviourism, eliminativism, identity theory, and functionalism.

    Topic 2: Mental Representation (5 Lectures)
    Theories of representation and mental content determination.

    Topic 3: Consciousness (5 Lectures)
            Philosophical and scientific theories of consciousness

    Small Group Discovery Experience
    Small group discovery experience will occur in the tutorials of this course.
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary

    Task Type Weight
    Essay 1 Summative 20%
    Essay 2 Summative 40%
    Essay 3 Summative 40%
    Tutorials Formative Unweighted
    Assessment Detail
    Your assessment in Philosophy of Mind will involve one short essay, and two longer essays.
    1. Essay 1 (1000 words). Choose one question, to be provided, on Topic 1.
    2. Essay 2 (2000 words). Choose one question, to be provided, on Topic 2.
    3. Essay 3 (2000 words). Choose one question, to be provided, on Topic 3.
    Submission
    Submit your essays by posting them on MyUni. Details of the submission process will be provided before the due date. Make sure you keep a backup copy of each essay that you submit, either as a computer file or a photocopy.

    Each essay must satisfy the following requirements:
    1. It must acknowledge any dependence, either direct or indirect, on source material.
    2. It must include a reference list of all material cited in the essay.
    3. It must not lie outside the specified word limits.
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

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    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy (http://www.adelaide.edu.au/policies/101/) course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

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  • Policies & Guidelines
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