An introduction to the philosophy of mind

Course Dates: 09/01/24 - 19/03/24
Time: 19:00 - 21:00
Location: Online
“No Brain, No Pain” — that’s hardly controversial. But is having an experience or—indeed—entertaining a thought
nothing else than neural activity? In this course we will look at this and some related philosophical questions.
NB There will be no class on 13/02/24.
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
Book your place
In stock
Full fee £229.00 Senior fee £229.00 Concession £149.00

Course Code: HP058

Tue, eve, 09 Jan - 19 Mar '24

Duration: 10 sessions (over 11 weeks)

Please note: We offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. Just visit our online Help Center for more information on a range of topics including fees, online learning and FAQs.

What is the course about?

The course looks at key issues in the philosophy of mind, arguably the most happening area in contemporary philosophy. For a good and entertaining “trailer”, watch Ken Campbell’s (1996) “Brainspotting” ( , 2.5 hours).

This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera is best (e.g. a PC/laptop/iMac/MacBook), or a tablet/iPad/smart phone/iPhone if you don't have a computer.
- Earphones/headphones/speakers.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.

What will we cover?

Dualism, behaviourism, the identity theory, functionalism, eliminativism and fictionalism, the computational theory of mind, content, mental causation, consciousness.

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

Appreciate some of the problems that afflict our understanding of the nature of mind and key strategies for dealing with them.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

This is an introductory course. However, the issues are not simple; a keen interest and readiness to face an intellectual challenge (in class and at home) are important. An open mind and a willingness to listen to and think about views with which you do not always agree are more important than specific levels of skills.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

For ease in orientation, the course is structured around a book (see 6 below). Each week we will discuss issues (analyse arguments) raised in a section of the book and/or in other texts (to be provided).
Please note that there will be no class on 13/02/24.

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

You should have regular access to the following book:

Ian Ravenscroft. Philosophy of mind. A beginner’s guide. Oxford university press, 2005.

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

You might be interested in HP162 - Philosophy and the self.

We’re sorry. We don’t have a bio ready for the tutor of this class at the moment, but we’re working on it! Watch this space.