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Unit (2020)

Information on this page, including unit offerings, is from the 2020 academic year.

Artificial Minds vs Real Thoughts (PHL209)

Organisational Unit Creative Media, Arts and Design
Credit Points 3
Description Can computers fall in love? Does our subjective experience matter? Are we mindless Zombies? Where is the mind? This unit traces the repeated discovery and loss of the mind by examining the historical trajectory of the mind-body problem as indelibly tied to the history of modern science which links minds to brains or computers. The unit discusses philosophical and psychological approaches to mind in the broader context of the development of the social sciences.
Unit Learning Outcomes This Unit aims to explore the familiar yet elusive notion of the mind through a set of positions proposed and critically redeveloped by Philosophers across the centuries. On completion of the Unit, students should be able to:

· describe the sense in which the mind is distinctive area of inquiry for Philosophy
· recall key terms from research into the mind and the concepts they describe
· critically evaluate how different responses to the problem of mind have emerged, and what their strengths and weaknesses might be
Timetabled Learning Activities Lectures: 1 hour per week; tutorials: 1.5 hours per week.
Unit Learning Experiences The approach to learning in this unit is for you to read the selections provided in the Unit Reader for each week's topic, the lecture notes or synopses in the Unit Info & Learning Guide, attend or listen to the lecture, and then attend the tutorial for discussion and questions on the week's readings (external students can send comments & questions to their tutor; online discussion forums are planned.)
Assessment Internal Students:
Presentation and Participation: Lead a tutorial discussion 15%
Contribute to weekly discussions 5%
Essay: 2000 word written piece with references: 40%
Examination: 2 hour closed book assessment; short answer questions and essay: 40%
External Students:
Presentation and Participation: Response to weekly question: 20%
Essay: 2000 word written piece with references: 40%
Examination: 2 hour closed book assessment; short answer questions and essay: 40%
Prerequisites Nil.
Exclusions Students who have successfully completed PHL230 Theories of the Mind may not enrol in this unit for credit.
Notes This is a University-Wide Breadth Unit. If this unit is taken as a Core or Specified Elective unit in a student's major or minor, it cannot also be used to satisfy the University-Wide Breadth Unit requirement.
Appears in these Courses/Majors:
see individual structures for context
Philosophy (BA)
Appears in these Minors Philosophy
Internet Access RequirementsMurdoch units normally include an online component comprising materials, discussions, lecture recordings and assessment activities. All students, regardless of their location or mode of study, need to have access to and be able to use computing devices with browsing capability and a connection to the Internet via Broadband (Cable, ADSL or Mobile) or Wireless. The Internet connection should be readily available and allow large amounts of data to be streamed or downloaded (approximately 100MB per lecture recording). Students also need to be able to enter into online discussions and submit assignments online.


Unit Coordinator
Dr Tim Flanagan
Lecturer - Philosophy

Murdoch Campus
t: 9360 2901
e: T.Flanagan@murdoch.edu.au
o: 450.4.059 - Education and Humanities, Murdoch Campus
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