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Philosophy of Psychology: Consciousness, Mindshaping, and Metacognition


Admission requirements

Admission to this course is restricted to students enrolled in the MA programme Philosophy 120 EC, specialisation Philosophy of Psychology.


In this seminar we discuss recent work on consciousness, social cognition and metacognition. Readings include Zawidzki (2013) on mindshaping, followed by Graziano (2013) on the social brain. Optional readings will include Dehaene (2014) and Koch (2012).

Course objectives

This course aims to:
train students in advanced discussion of recent work on consciousness, social cognition and metacognition, including work on mindshaping (Zawidzki 2013) , and on the social brain hypothesis (Graziano 2013).

Students who successfully complete the course will be able to:

  • take part in advanced discussions of philosophical aspects of recent work on consciousness, social cognition and metacognition;

  • find and critically analyse relevant literature in these fields;

  • present their findings both orally and in writing.


See Timetables Philosophy 2014-2015 , Timetables MA Philosophy 60 EC/120 EC.

Mode of instruction

  • Tutorials

Class attendance is required.

Course Load

Total course load (10 EC): 280 hours
Attending tutorials: 40 hours
Required reading: 160 hours
Presentations: 20 hours
Midterm paper: 20 hours
Term paper: 40 hours

Assessment method

  • Oral presentations (25%)

  • Class discussions (15%)

  • Midterm paper (20%)

  • Term paper (40%)

One resit will be offered, consisting of the final paper. Any student who did not take the first examination cannot take the resit.


Blackboard is used for sharing reading materials, assignments, discussion and feedback.

Reading list

Required reading:

  • Zawidzki, Tadeusz (2013), Mindshaping: A New Framework for Understanding Human Social Cognition (The MIT Press, 2013).

  • Graziano, Michael (2013), Consciousness and the Social Brain (Oxford UP, 2013).

Optional reading:
Dehaene, Stanislas (2014), Consciousness and the Brain: Deciphering How the Brain Codes Our Thoughts (Viking Press, 2014).

  • Koch, Christof (2012), Consciousness: Confessions of a Romantic Reductionist (The MIT Press, 2012).


Please register for this course on uSis.
See Registration for courses and examinations

Students are strongly advised to register in uSis through the activity number which can be found in the timetable for courses in the column under the heading “Act.nbr”.

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable.


Dr. J.J.M. Sleutels


This course is compulsory for MA students in Philosophy (120 EC), specialisation Philosophy of Law.