AP/PHIL3265 3.0 A: Philosophy of Mind

Offered by: PHIL


Fall 2019






Calendar Description / Prerequisite / Co-Requisite

Topics covered include the ontological status of the mind, the nature of mental causation, consciousness and its relation to our status as rational persons equipped with free will. Other possible questions include: Is language necessary for thought? Can some nonhuman animals think? What is the relationship between emotions and rationality? Prerequisite: AP/PHIL 2160 3.00 or AP/PHIL 2240 3.00. Course credit exclusion: GL/PHIL 3657 3.00.

Course Website

Many courses utilize Moodle, York University's course website system. If your course is using Moodle, refer to the image below to access it.

    Additional Course Instructor/Contact Details

Verena Gottschling


Office Location:  S436 Ross Building

Phone Number:  (416) 736-2100 Ext. 77553

Office Hours:  Thursday 10:30 – 11:30

    Expanded Course Description

What is the mind and how is it related to the brain? And what does either of them have to do with computation, Artificial Intelligence, and Neuroscience? This course is an intermediate course in Philosophy of Mind designed to familiarize you with the central questions, debates, topics, methods, and techniques involved in studying Philosophy of Mind. You will encounter many interesting results, as well as a number of open questions and stimulating controversies. This course is a survey of some of the main issues and theories as written by contemporary analytic philosophers of mind.  By successfully completing this course you will improve your ability to evaluate others’ arguments and to create your own.  Your writing and speaking skills should improve.  You will also learn about contemporary figures and theories in the philosophy of mind.

You will learn about different positions regarding the ontological status of the mind, the nature of mental causation, and theories of consciousness Other possible questions include: Is language necessary for thought? What does it mean to be a person? What is free will? What is the relationship between emotions and rationality? What are creativity and mental imagery?

    Required Course Text / Readings

Several papers (online, Moodle)

    Weighting of Course

Final Essay                                                          40%

Midterm                                                             30%

Short papers :                                                         30%


In the short papers you will very briefly summarize an assigned reading and then either offer a brief criticism of the reading or ask critical questions about it.  An example of what is expected will be provided.  The midterm will be in-class, and will consist of multiple choice and short answer questions. The take home final will consist of a final essay. Penalties of missed assignments are left to my discretion.

    Organization of the Course

Lecture and class discussion

    Course Learning Objectives

After completing this course, students should be able to:

  1. Understand in some depth the main topics regarding Philosophy of Mind in contemporary analytic philosophy of Mind, and different views regarding the Mind Body Problem
  2. Evaluate others’ conceptual and empirical arguments and to create their own.
  3. Develop the ability to write analyses of arguments
  4. Know about several contemporary figures in the philosophy of Mind
    Relevant Links / Resources