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Philosophy of Psychology: Selected Topics


Admission requirements

Admission to this course is restricted to students enrolled in the MA Philosophy 120 EC, specialisation Philosophy of Psychology.
This specialist course is mandatory for above mentioned students.


In this seminar we will be discussing a topical selection of recent work in the philosophy of mind, ranging from cognitive neuroscience to phenomenological approaches. Themes that are typically addressed include consciousness, agency and free will, as well as cognitive development and pathological states of mind. Building on embodied and enactive approaches discussed in the last years, the course will look at more cognitivist and/or phenomenological angles to understand coginitive capacities.

The teaching format is that of a seminar with weekly student presentations followed by structured group discussions.

Course objectives

Students who successfully complete the course will have:

  • advanced knowledge of recent work in the philosophy of mind;

  • critical insight in problems concerning the methods and conceptual foundations of psychology.

Students who successfully complete the course will be able to:

  • give an oral and written presentation of philosophical arguments;

  • write a clear argumentative essay about a topic of interest related to the chosen readings from the class;

  • find and digest relevant literature.


The timetable is available on the MA Philosophy website
MA Philosophy 120 EC

Mode of instruction

  • Seminars

Class attendance is required.

Course Load

Total course load:10 EC x 28 hours = 280 hours

  • Attending seminars (14 weeks × 3 hours): 42 hours

  • Required reading: 158 hours

  • Preparation of presentations: 20 hours

  • Writing mid-term paper: 20 hours

  • Writing term paper: 40 hours

Assessment method

  • Oral presentations (25%)

  • Class discussions (15%)

  • Midterm paper (20%)

  • Term paper (40%)


The final mark for the course is established by determination of the weighted average of several subtests. A subtest can be graded as unsatisfactory.

Class participation is a mandatory requirement for taking the tests and/or resit. 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, and consisting of a paper. The grade will replace previously earned grades for subtests. No separate resits will be offered for mid-term tests. Students who have obtained a satisfactory grade for the first examination(s) cannot take the resit.


Blackboard will be used for:

  • sharing reading materials and assignments

  • discussion

  • feedback

Reading list

Required readings will be made available on Blackboard.


Enrolment for courses and exams through uSis is mandatory.
General information about uSis is available in English and Dutch

Students are strongly advised to register in uSis through the activity number which can be found in the timetables for and exams in the column under the heading “uSis-Actnbr”.

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable.


Dr Z.A. Rucinska


Not applicable.