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Postgraduate course

Master Topic in Philosophy of Mind

Main content

Level of Study


Teaching semester


Place of Instruction


Learning Outcomes


After completing the course, the student should have

- overview of the most important directions within the philosophy of mind in the 20th century, such as behaviorism, the psychophysical identity theory, functionalism, characteristic dualism and eliminative materialism

- insight into the issues that are common challenges for these directions, such as the question of what intentionality is, the question of the experience of awareness relative to a person's material properties and processes, and how we can understand mental causation

- insight into issues that connects philosophy of mind to modern cognitive science, important here is the question whether Artificial Intelligence can exist

- insight to evaluate the effectiveness of the classical argument in the philosophy of mind out from their soundness and validity


After completing the course, the student should be able to

- distinguish between strong and weak aspects of the various main positions in contemporary philosophy of mind in the 20th century

- communicate knowledge about these positions both in academic as well as more general contexts

- understand that solutions to problems in the philosophy of mind requires something more than empirical knowledge, at the same time as one realizes that innovations in psychology and neurophysiology may establish the basis for a crop rotations between philosophical concepts analysis and empirical research


After completing the course, the student should be competent to

- ensue further studies in cognitive science

- keep pace with the contemporary philosophical debate about the problems in the philosophy of mind at a level of moderate difficulty

- provide insight into the problems to people without special background knowledge of the subject

Required Previous Knowledge


Recommended Previous Knowledge

A good proficiency in English is necessary since it ought to be assumed that much of the prescribed reading will be in English.

Access to the Course

This course is open to students who have been admitted to the Master's programme in philosophy. All other students require permission in order to register for this course. Please contact studieveileder@fof.uib.no to apply.

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching is offered in the form of lectures.

The number of gatherings may be reduced if the number of students attending the course is less than 4. In that case, the students will be compensated with individual or group tutoring.

Compulsory Assignments and Attendance

An approval of compulsory requirements is valid for three semesters, including the semester in which the approval is given.

  • Students must submit a proposal and draft of their second assignment. Deadlines are set by the department.
  • Students must attend a supervision session with the instructor.

Forms of Assessment

The assessment form is a portfolio assessment, consisting of two written assignments to be handed in before a deadline set by the department. The first assignment is on a topic chosen from a list provided by the course teacher, and should be between 1500 and 2000 words (excluding table of contents, list of references, etc.). The second assignment is a supervised paper between 3000 and 5000 words (excluding table of contents, list of references, etc.). Each student chooses a topic subject to prior approval by the teacher of the course. With regards to the final grade, the first assignment makes up 20% and the second assignment 80% of the grade.

The compulsory activities have to be formally approved before one can take an exam in the course.

Assessment in a semester without teaching follows the syllabus the previous semester the course had teaching.

Grading Scale

From A to F

Assessment Semester


Course Evaluation

The teaching will be evaluated from time to time.

Exam information

  • Type of assessment: Portfoltio assessment

    Withdrawal deadline
    • Exam part: Portfolio paper 1

      Submission deadline
      10.03.2023, 13:00
      Examination system
      Digital exam
    • Exam part: Portfolio paper 2

      Submission deadline
      20.04.2023, 13:00
      Examination system
      Digital exam