Introduction to the Philosophy of Mind
What you'll learn
- 1. Cut through philosophical jargon and clearly explain the main theories in Western Philosophy regarding the nature of the mind and body and how they interact.
- 2. Critique theories advanced in the Philosophy of Mind, such as substance dualism and reductive physicalism.
- 3. Identify how philosophical theories in the Philosophy of Mind often echo other parts of culture, such as religious attitudes and developments in science.
- This course is suitable for beginners
What will you learn?
How to cut through the philosophical jargon and clearly explain the main theories in Western Philosophy regarding the nature of the mind and body and how they interact.
How to critique the theories advanced in the Philosophy of Mind, such as substance dualism and reductive physicalism.
Identify how philosophical theories in the Philosophy of Mind often echo other parts of culture, such as religious attitudes and developments in science.
Who is this course for?
This course gives an introduction to the Philosophy of Mind and can be studied by those who have never studied Philosophy before. It will appeal to those who are simply interested in the topic; those teaching the topic who want fresh ideas on how to explain the Philosophy of Mind, or those wanting to take an A level qualification in Philosophy.
What does the course cover?
Philosophy of Mind asks important questions about what it is to be human. Among other questions it asks if we are two things: body and soul, or whether we are only one. It asks what the role of consciousness is in our lives and whether science can explain it. It tries to find the right analogy for humans: do we process problems like computers, or are we biological machines piloted by our spirits? It asks whether we are unique or whether the increased sophistication of robots shows that beings as complicated as us can be constructed using physical components. If you have ever wondered about the fundamental nature of what it is to be human then this course is for you.
This course is set at introductory level so begins by covering key terms in the Philosophy of Mind. The next section covers Descartes' Substance Dualism, including some objections to his position. The third section covers Property Dualism, a modern development from Descartes' philosophy, and again some issues with this position are explored. The fourth section looks at Physicalism, the view we are only our bodies. The various subtypes of Physicalism are explored along with the problems with each.
The course is structured to be interactive, with activities spread throughout and a multiple choice quiz after each section. Information is delivered mainly through narrated slideshows. Each slide includes images that have been paired with the ideas and concepts discussed to help make the material easier to understand and remember. There is also a transcript of each video to help you follow the material and know how to spell new terms. If any topic particularly takes your interest then you can access the additional resources section of each lecture, which will enable you to explore further. There is also a discussion group where you can discuss the ideas and concepts you will be studying.
The syllabus covered in this course is that listed in the AQA's 7172 A Level Philosophy syllabus for the 'Metaphysics of Mind' module. Further information on how this qualification is structured and assessed are attached to the introductory lecture. I cover the material from the A Level's 3 other modules in my Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion, Introduction to Epistemology (Philosophy of Knowledge) and Introduction to Moral Philosophy - all available on Udemy.
Who this course is for:
- Those studying for interest
- Those working toward an A Level in Philosophy
- Philosophy teachers looking for new ideas for teaching the material
I have been involved in education as either an educator or a student for essentially my whole life. My particular passion is constructing courses that convey complex information in easy bite-size chunks. For this reason I particularly enjoy creating introductions for different subjects.
I attended the University of Durham, England, in 2003-7, during which time I gained a First Class honours degree in English Literature and Philosophy and a Masters in Philosophy. I then trained as a teacher specialising in teaching adults. I gained my PhD in English Literature in 2012. My PhD thesis looked at the concept of feeling in the novels and plays of eighteenth century author, Frances Burney (a favourite of Jane Austen). I have published articles on nerve theory and on Gothicism. I am particularly interested in the History of Ideas and how Philosophy intersects with Literature.
Over the last ten years I have taught students ranging in age from 13 to 60, at high school level to PhD. At different times I have taught Philosophy, English Literature, Sociology, Psychology and transferable skills, such as Presentation Skills and Critical Thinking.
I have worked at the University of Durham, Anglia Ruskin University and the University of Warwick and currently live on the sunny south coast of England.