The Ontology of the Mental

Course Requirement Areas: 
Metaphysics and Epistemology
Term: 
Fall
Credits: 
4.0
Level: 
Master’s
Type: 
Elective
Course Description: 

This course will investigate some central themes in the metaphysics of the mind: the nature of the self, the self as a substance, the relationship between self and person, the notion of a mental state, a mental process, a mental event, and mental property, and the metaphysical distinctions these involve. The first half of the course will examine a number of central theories of the self: the bundle theory, the materialist theory, the animalist theory, the self as a simple substance. The second half of the course will examine the metaphysical background to some of the categories mentioned in the first half — the categories of substance, property, event, state etc. — and will consider some other ways in which these categories apply to the nature of mind.

The first half will be led by Howard Robinson, the second half will be led by Tim Crane.

Learning Outcomes: 

By the end of this course students who have completed all the requirements will:

  • have a good understanding of a number of central metaphysical categories employed in the philosophy of mind: substance, property, event, process;
  • have a good understanding of the relevance of these categories to the questions of the nature of the mind, the nature of the self and the nature of the person
Assessment: 

One term paper of 4000 words, on a topic agreed with Professors Crane and Robinson.

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