M.A. Philosophy of Mind and Cognitive Science

University of Birmingham

Application deadline: None, but early application advised
Tuition fee:
  • € 5,313 / Year (EEA)
  • € 14,088 / Year (Non-EEA)
Start date: September  2014, September  2015
Duration full-time: 12 months
Languages:
  • English
Location:
Disciplines:
Delivery mode: On Campus
Educational variant: Part-time, Full-time

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Description

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You will study six modules in total, three of which are core Philosophy modules:

* Research Skills and Methods
* Philosophy of Mind
* Philosophy of Cognitive Science or Philosophy of Health and Happiness

Your remaining three modules are optional, and can be chosen from a range of modules in Philosophy, Psychology or Artificial Intelligence offered by the School of Philosophy, Theology and Religion, the School of Psychology or the School of Computer Science. You will also complete a 15,000-word dissertation.

Contents

You will study three core modules as follows:

Both of:

Research Skills and Methods

This module is an introduction to the methods of contemporary philosophy. It identifies key philosophical reasoning tools and styles of argument, providing opportunity to apply these to classical philosophical debates. It also highlights the great variety of philosophical theorising on offer by contrasting so-called 'armchair' and empirically-informed philosophy, as well as theoretical and applied philosophy. Throughout there will be an emphasis on honing essential practical skills, namely reading and writing philosophy at postgraduate level. This module will also be useful as a basic refresher course for those who have studied some philosophy already. The sessions are taught by a member of the Department of Philosophy, focusing on discipline-specific topics..

Philosophy of Mind

What is the place of consciousness in nature? Will we ever understand it in a scientific way? What about thinking in general? Are human minds, essentially, grey wet computers, or do we need altogether distinctive conceptual resources to understand them? These kinds of questions have concerned philosophers of mind for centuries, and in this module well address a range that are central to contemporary debates. We begin with the metaphysical question of whether consciousness can be accommodated in a physicalist world view, examining the difficulties faced by various different attempts to analyse it in physical (scientific) terms. We then move to some fundamental questions about mental states in general: Are they located inside peoples heads? Can they be understood in purely descriptive terms, or are they (like moral and other evaluative properties are often held to be) in some sense essentially normative? .

Plus, one of:

Philosophy of Cognitive Science

This module covers a range of advanced topics in empirically-informed philosophy of mind. In any given year, some of the following topics will be addressed in detail: theories of intentionality; differences between human and animal cognition; pathologies of belief such as delusions and self-deception; theories of emotion; accounts of cognitive rationality; the relationship between ownership and authorship of thoughts; the narrative view of the self; the psychology of wisdom and expertise.

Philosophy of Health and Happiness

The module will examine debates at the forefront of current research in the philosophy of health and happiness. You will explore conceptual problems (e.g. what health and disease are) and question contemporary lifestyle issues (for instance, regarding how health, happiness and meaning relate, as well as whether there is a correlation between income and life satisfaction). You will also be asked to consider how technological advances (such as those in genetics) are changing these understandings.
From 2013/14 onwards, this module will be accredited for CPD by the Royal College of Physicians (equivalent to 10 category 1 credits).

You will also choose three optional modules from within the School of Philosophy, Theology and Religion, the School of Psychology or the School of Computer Science.

Requirements

At least an upper second-class Honours degree in Philosophy (or a Joint Honours degree of which Philosophy is a component). Candidates with degrees in other relevant subjects (eg, Psychology) are also encouraged to apply.

· IELTS 6.5 with no less than 6.0 in any band.

· TOEFL IBT 93 with no less than 20 in any band

English Language Requirements

CAE score: (read more)

Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) is part of the Cambridge English suite and is targeted at a high level (IETLS 6.5-8.0). It is an international English language exam set at the right level for academic and professional success. Developed by Cambridge English Language Assessment - part of the University of Cambridge - it helps you stand out from the crowd as a high achiever.

80 (Grade A)

Funding

See the University of Birmingham Website for more details on fees and funding.

Scholarships may be available. See for information on funding collated by the Department of Philosophy. Alternatively email sfo@contacts.bham.ac.uk|

International students can often gain funding through overseas research scholarships, Commonwealth scholarships or their home government.

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