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Philosophy of Mind (with tutorials)


Admission requirements

Admission to this course is restricted to second-year BA students in Philosophy enrolled in the BA Plus-traject.


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;

  • develop group presentation skills in tutorials by preparing in small groups Power Point presentations about the assigned reading, as well as practice giving feedback to students who present.


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

Mode of instruction

  • Lectures

  • Tutorials

For the tutorials students will be divided in two groups to have 1 hour of tutorial each week. Every fortnight one group of 2-3 students will run the tutorial session. They will be expected to prepare a short presentation on the reading material and lead the discussions. Other students will be expected to evaluate the presenting students, guided by an evaluation form that will be provided by Blackboard. The group presentations will not be graded. Overall there will be 6 tutorials led by the course leader, 6 tutorials led by the student groups, and 2 tutorials that will focus on preparing the midterm paper and revising for the exam.

Course Load

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

  • Attending lectures: 14 × 2 hours = 28 hours

  • Attending tutorials 14 × 1 hour = 14 hours

  • Final written exam: 3 hours

  • Time for studying the compulsory literature: 12 × 5 hours/week) = 60 hours

  • Group tutorial preparation: 5 hours

  • Time for writing the midterm paper: 30 hours

Assessment method

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

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

  • The student presentations during the tutorials will not be graded but are a mandatory requirement for taking the exam.

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.
Class participation and practical assignments (presentations) are mandatory requirements for taking 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 will be made available through Readeronline (see instruction in Dutch or 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 “”.

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable.


Dr. J.J.M. Sleutels


Not applicable.