PHIL 2039 - Philosophy of Mind

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2022

The human mind presents us with a number of mysteries: How does your mind make your body move? How can you represent things in your mind? Can we physically explain what it is like to feel pain? 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 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 At least 12 units of Level I undergraduate study
    Incompatible PHIL 2016 or PHIL 3016
    Course Description The human mind presents us with a number of mysteries: How does your mind make your body move? How can you represent things in your mind? Can we physically explain what it is like to feel pain? 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 to solve them.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Jordi Fernandez

    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)

    Attribute 1: Deep discipline knowledge and intellectual breadth

    Graduates have comprehensive knowledge and understanding of their subject area, the ability to engage with different traditions of thought, and the ability to apply their knowledge in practice including in multi-disciplinary or multi-professional contexts.

    1, 2

    Attribute 2: Creative and critical thinking, and problem solving

    Graduates are effective problems-solvers, able to apply critical, creative and evidence-based thinking to conceive innovative responses to future challenges.

    3, 4, 5

    Attribute 3: Teamwork and communication skills

    Graduates convey ideas and information effectively to a range of audiences for a variety of purposes and contribute in a positive and collaborative manner to achieving common goals.


    Attribute 4: Professionalism and leadership readiness

    Graduates engage in professional behaviour and have the potential to be entrepreneurial and take leadership roles in their chosen occupations or careers and communities.

    3, 4, 5

    Attribute 5: Intercultural and ethical competency

    Graduates are responsible and effective global citizens whose personal values and practices are consistent with their roles as responsible members of society.


    Attribute 8: Self-awareness and emotional intelligence

    Graduates are self-aware and reflective; they are flexible and resilient and have the capacity to accept and give constructive feedback; they act with integrity and take responsibility for their actions.

  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    Readings will be made available on MyUni throughtout the semester.
    Recommended Resources
    The following textbooks are useful resources for the course:

    Bayne, Tim (2021) *Philosophy of Mind: An introduction*, Routledge; First Edition.

    Kim, Jaegwon (2010) *Philosophy of Mind*, Westview Press; Third Edition.
    Online Learning
    Lecture notes will be made available on MyUni each week, and the lectures will be recorded. To prepare for workshops, you are required to answer a set of workshop questions. These will be made available on MyUni in the week preceding the workshop.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    • This course is taught in lectures+workshop format:

      - Lectures are pre-recorded and will be made available through MyUni.
      - You will have the option of attending either a face-to-face workshop, or an on-line workshop through Zoom.

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

    2 x 1-hour lectures per week 24 hours per semester
    1 x 1-hour worshop per week 12 hours per semester
    4 hours assignment preparation per week 48 hours per semester
    3 hours tutorial preparation per week 36 hours per semester
    3 hours reading per week 36 hours per semester
    TOTAL WORKLOAD 156 hours per semester
    Learning Activities Summary
    Topic 1: The Metaphysical Status of Mental States
    Dualism, materialism, behaviourism, eliminativism, identity theory, and functionalism.

    Topic 2: Mental Representation
    Theories of representation and mental content determination.

    Topic 3: Consciousness
            Philosophical theories of consciousness

  • 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
    Assessment TaskTask TypeWeightingLearning Outcomes
    Workshop Participation Formative 0% 1–6
    Essay 1 Summative 50% 1–4
    Essay 2 Summative 50% 1–4
    Assessment Related Requirements
    Submission of two essays is a course requirement. The first one should be about 2,000 words long. The second one should be about 2,500 words long. You are strongly urged to attend the course workshops, though attendance is not compulsory.
    Assessment Detail
    Your assessment will involve weekly workshop participation and two essays. The word limits below are lower and upper bounds, respectively.
    1. Workshops. Each week you will participate in the discussion of questions previously posted in MyUni. 
    2. Essay 1 (1500-2000 words). 
    3. Essay 2 (2000-2500 words).
    a) Submitting your essays

    All essays must be submitted electronically through MyUni. Please do not submit a hard copy of your essay. In this course, we will only accept electronic submission of essays through MyUni. Please remember that it is your responsibility to submit your essays correctly.

    • The first page of your essay must include your name and student ID number.
    • At the end of the submission process, please print (or take a picture of) the screen telling you that your file has been submitted. In the event of system failure, we will accept that as proof that you did submit your essay.
    • You are required to keep both a hard copy and an electronic copy of each of your essays.
    • Comments to Essay 1 will be returned electronically, approximately two weeks after the due date. If you require comments to your second essay back, please let the lecturer know by noon of the due date for Essay 2.

    b) Overdue work

    If your essay is submitted after 12pm of the due date without an extension, then your work will be considered late/overdue. Please note the following regarding late/overdue work:

    (i) Late essays will be penalized at the rate of 2 marks of the percentage mark achieved for that
    assessment component for each day that the work is overdue.
    (ii) Essays submitted more than 7 days late without an extension will not be marked.

    For the purposes of both (i) and (ii):

    (A) the number of days that the assessment task is overdue will be counted by using noon as the cut-off point (since all pieces of assessment are due at noon). Thus, an essay submitted at 12:01pm of the due date will count as being 1 day late.
    (B) 'days' will be considered calendar, and not business, days (weekends do count).

    c) Extensions

    Faculty of Arts policy states that students are eligible for extensions only on the basis of medical, compassionate or extenuating circumstances.

    E-mail communication with your course coordinator, lecturer, tutor or marker does not constitute a request for an extension. In order to be granted an extension, you must submit an application, which will be available in MyUni, together with supporting documentation before the due date.

    No other grounds for extension will be permitted. Extension requests made on other grounds, or made on/after the due date, will be declined. In particular, note that pressure of other work or sporting commitments are not accepted as grounds for extension.
    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

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    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 ( 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.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
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