Philosophy of Mind

Subject 161-215 (2009)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2009. Search for this in the current handbook

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 2 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject is not offered in 2009.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: Thirty two contact hours per semester: two 1-hour lectures per week for the first 11 weeks and a 1-hour tutorial per week beginning the third week of semester
Total Time Commitment: 3 contact hours/week, 5.5 additional hours/week. Total of 8.5 hours per week.
Prerequisites: At least one single-semester first-year philosophy subject, or permission from the Head of School or the subject coordinator.
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:


Assoc Prof Christopher Cordner

Subject Overview: This subject examines the major theories contemporary philosophers have advanced to explain the nature of the human mind. It introduces students to the problems that theories of the mind attempt to solve, to the ways in which these theories attempt a solution, and to the problems these attempts at solution encounter. Specifically, the subject will address the theories of dualism, epiphenomenalism, behaviourism, physicalism, functionalism, and eliminativism. Students should develop an understanding of these theories, an appreciation of what motivates them, and of their problems.
Objectives: Students who successfully complete this subject will
  • appreciate the problems a theory of the mind attempts to address;
  • understand the major contemporary theories of the mind;
  • appreciate the main objections such theories face.
Assessment: A written assignment of 2000 words 50% (due mid-semester), a 2-hour closed-book written examination 47% (due at the end of semester) and tutorial participation 3%.
Prescribed Texts: A subject reader will be available from the Bookroom at the beginning of semester
Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills: Students who successfully complete this subject will
  • acquire the skill to understand new contributions to the field as they emerge;
  • acquire the ability to read complex theoretical texts from a critical perspective;
  • develop skills pertinent to assessing divergent readings of such texts.
Notes: Previously available as The Nature of Mind. Students who have completed The Nature of Mind are not eligible to enrol in this subject.
Related Course(s): Diploma in Arts (Philosophy)
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: History & Philosophy of Science
Philosophy Major

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