nl en

Philosophy of Mind


Admission requirements

Introductory knowledge of philosophy and/or other relevant disciplines (e.g. psychology).


The course will provide a comprehensive overview of the most famous dualisms in the modern Philosophy of Mind. The course aims to develop knowledge and understanding of the main arguments behind each of the positions, explore the central themes in the writings of contemporary philosophers of mind dealing with these topics, and explore the viability of different proposals for thinking about the mind and cognition. The course will further the understanding of the students by situating the mentioned debates in phenomenology and evolutionary psychology.

Course objectives

The student who has successfully completed the course will have the knowledge of:

  • the main theoretical positions of current philosophers of mind (Fodor, Putnam, Davidson, Churchland, Clark, Chalmers, Nagel Dennett, Noe, Hutto, Gallagher);

  • how the positions interact (forming dualisms);

  • the context in which the positions arose (Cartesian dualism, behaviourism, cognitivism);

  • the main criticisms of these positions;

  • how the positions in philosophy of mind relate to other types of philosophy (phenomenology) and inform other fields (evolutionary psychology).

The student who has successfully completed the course will be able to:

  • critically evaluate the proposals by producing arguments, backed by reasons (based on considering appropriate objections and anticipating possible replies/consequences).

  • demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the main philosophical proposals about mind and cognition.


See Collegeroosters Wijsbegeerte 2015-2016, BA Wijsbegeerte (BA Plus-traject of Standaardtraject), tweede jaar.

Mode of instruction

  • Lectures

Class attendance is required .

Course Load

Total course load (5 EC x 28 hrs): 140 hours

  • Attending lectures: 14 × 2 hours = 28 hours

  • Final (written) exam: 3 hours

  • Time for studying the compulsory literature: 14 × 5hrs/week = 70 hours

  • Time for writing the midterm paper: 39

Assessment method

  • Midterm paper (max. 3500 words): 40% of the grade.

  • Final (written) exam: 60% of the grade

Class participation is a mandatory requirement for taking the tests. Students can only miss two lectures out of fourteen in order to pass the course. If you miss more, confer with the teacher about possibilities for compensating the missed classes.


One resit will be offered, covering the entire course content. The grade will replace previously earned grades for subtests. Students who have obtained a satisfactory grade for the first examination(s) cannot take the resit.


Blackboard will be used to provide access to reading material, and to share notes and additional material with students, such as a template of how to give feedback to student presentations, as well as weekly guiding questions to facilitate reading of the assigned material.

Reading list

  • A reader with will be made available through Readeronline (see instruction in Dutch or in English

Students will be expected to read the assigned material in advance of the relevant lectures. They will be additionally provided with guiding questions that facilitate reading the assigned material.


Please register for this course via Study administration system uSis
See also Inschrijven voor cursussen en tentamens

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

Exchange students and Study Abroad students, please see the Study in Leiden website for information on how to apply.

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Registration Contractonderwijs
Registration Studeren à la carte


Dr. J.J.M. Sleutels:


Not applicable.