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Subject details

  • Topics
    • General Introduction
    • Descartes on knowledge and understanding
    • Descartes on the nature of the mind
    • The self and personal identity
    • Personal Identity - Do I survive?
    • Identity and Bodies
    • Identity - Multiple Personality
    • Free Will and Determinism
    • Topics in contemporary Philosophy of Mind
  • Study resources
    • Instructional Methods
      • Disscusion forum/Discussion Board
      • Online Quizzes/Tests
      • Online assignment submission
      • Podcasting/Leacture capture
      • Standard Media
      • Web links
    • Online Materials
      • Online Assessment
      • Printable format materials
      • Quizzes
      • Resources and Links

At the completion of this subject students will be able to:

1. You will be able to identify key philosophical problems about the relationship between mind and world at an introductory level

2. You will be able to explain important philosophical responses to problems about the relationship between mind and world at an introductory level

3. You will be able to critically and reflectively respond to the problems and theories introduced in the subject

4. You will be able to express and defend your own views with increased clarity

5. You will be able to contribute to the learning of the group by engaging constructively in philosophical discussion and activities

  • Assignment 1 - Assessment (30%)
  • Assignment 2 - Essay (40%)
  • Assignment 3 - Participation (20%)
  • Assignment 4 - Quiz (10%)

Textbooks are subject to change within the academic year. Students are advised to purchase their books no earlier than one to two months before the start of a subject

Entry Requirements

Equivalent Subjects

You cannot enrol in this unit if you have successfully completed any of the following subject(s) because they are considered academically equivalent:

  • MAQ-PHI130

Special requirements

No special requirements

This subject was previously known as PHI130 Mind, Meaning and Metaphysics.

The subject introduces the big philosophical questions about human nature, personal identity and the meaning of life. What is the fundamental nature of reality? Are human beings somehow unique in nature? Do we have distinct selves that endure through time? What is the relation between our identity and the things that matter to us? We take a broadly historical approach, reading the classic philosophical texts as well as contemporary work. Three themes recur across the subject: the relation of mind and body, the quest for knowledge, and the nature of the self. We begin with conceptions of the mind at the dawn of the modern period, asking whether mind is entirely physical or could in principle survive bodily death. We also explore the links between the self, time, and memory. We then introduce some key thinkers of the twentieth century; and we explore their views on freedom, lived experience, and our relations to others. The subject as a whole offers a detailed introduction to controversial questions about the nature of the mind, showing how historical understanding animates current debates, and demonstrating the relevance of philosophy to live modern issues about science, human nature, and culture.

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