Philosophy of Mind and Action - PHIL6040

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Module delivery information

This module is not currently running in 2021 to 2022.


The aim of this course is to engage in the study of specific topics in the philosophy of mind, language, or action and to engage with the criticism of contemporary approaches as it is found in the works of Wittgenstein, Ryle, Anscombe, and/or Austin.


Contact hours

Total Contact Hours: 40


Also available at Level 6 (PL578)

Method of assessment

Seminar Performance – 10%
Group Presentation (25 minutes) – 10%
Written Assignment (1,000 words) – 30%
Essay (2,500 words) – 50%

Indicative reading

Indicative Reading List:

Anscombe, G.E.M. (1963). Intention, 2nd ed. Oxford: Blackwell
Austin, J. (1975) How to Do Things with Words, Oxford: Blackwell
Austin, J. (1979), Philosophical Papers, 3rd ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press
Ryle, G. (1963), The Concept of Mind; Harmondsworth: Penguin
Ryle, G. (2009). Collected Papers, 2 vols. London: Routledge
Wittgenstein, L. (1972) Philosophical Investigations. Oxford: Blackwell

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

On successfully completing the module Level 5 students will be able to:

Outline and show understanding through clear expression of selected authors and topics in contemporary philosophy of mind, language or action (content);
Demonstrate the foundations of skills in exegesis, critical analysis, and assessment of a small selection of contemporary journal articles in the philosophy of mind, language, or action (research/content);
Outline and show understanding through clear expression of the arguments for and against (including counter replies, etc.), and the relationships between the topics covered in the class. These topics are likely to change from one year to the next, but have in the past included Thinking, Category Mistakes, The Intellectualist Legend, Knowing How vs Knowing That, Intention, Practical Knowledge, Agency, Understanding, Sensations, and Seeing-As;
Engage with original philosophical texts;
Engage in oral and written philosophical argumentation.


  1. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  2. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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