MA Political Science - Philosophy and Political Theory

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Philosophy of Mind

Course unit fact file
Unit code PHIL60071
Credit rating 15
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Available as a free choice unit? Yes


The course will explore some important debates in contemporary philosophy of mind. The exact topics will change from year to year, but may include the nature of consciousness, perception, thought, intentionality, self-consciousness, and physicalism.


This course aims to:

  • Help students to engage with central issues in the philosophy of mind
  • Enhance students’ powers of critical analysis, reasoning and independent thought, and bring these to bear on important philosophical issues
  • Familiarise students with some of the most interesting and provocative debates in contemporary philosophy of mind

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this course unit, students will be able to demonstrate:

  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of a range of central texts in analytic philosophy of mind;
  • Demonstrate in-depth critical knowledge of the most important modern and contemporary theories in the areas covered by the course;
  • Critically reflect on those theories; and articulate and defend their own views.

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching will take place in weekly two-hour seminars. Students will be assigned reading and preparatory questions for each seminar. Every two-hour session will consist of group-based discussion of the readings set, together with some contextualising from the seminar leader wherever appropriate. Meetings will normally start with a short student presentation, which summarises the assigned reading and raises questions for further discussion.

Students will also have the opportunity to discuss their private reading and writing assignments one-to-one with the tutor.

Assessment methods

3000 word essay - 100%

Feedback methods

Formative: oral feedback in seminars and office hours; written feedback on essay plans.

Summative: written feedback on coursework.

Recommended reading

Bayne, Tim. 2022. Philosophy of Mind: An Introduction. London: Routledge


Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Seminars 20
Independent study hours
Independent study 130

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
David Liggins Unit coordinator

Additional notes



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