Faculty of Arts

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6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.



Organisational Unit



Dr Jennifer Windt (Day); Dr Sam Butchart (Off-campus)



  • First semester 2016 (Flexible)
  • Second semester 2016 (Day)
  • Second semester 2016 (Flexible)



This unit is concerned with some philosophical questions about the nature of consciousness, in particular with the question whether consciousness is irreducibly non-physical. We shall look at all of the major theories of the mind/body relationship, and we shall also examine the prospects for the creation of artificial intelligence and conscious computers.


Upon successfully completing this unit, students will have a good understanding of the main competing solutions to the mind/body problem, i.e. to the problem of determining exactly how mind and body are related. Students will also have a good understanding of the ways in which solutions to the mind/body problem relate to other disputed questions in philosophy of mind, e.g. whether animals have thoughts, whether machines are capable of thought, whether the world can be exhaustively described in the language of physics, and so forth.


Within semester assessment: 70%
Exam: 30%

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 144 hours per semester typically comprising a mixture of scheduled learning activities and independent study. A unit requires on average three/four hours of scheduled activities per week. Scheduled activities may include a combination of teacher directed learning, peer directed learning and online engagement.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

Off-campus attendance requirements

Off-campus: no timetabled contact hours

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study