Logo Students

PHIX131 – Mind and World

2017 – SP1 OUA

General Information

Pdf icon Download as PDF
Unit convenor and teaching staff Unit convenor and teaching staff OUA Convenor
Jennifer Duke-Yonge
Contact via jennifer.duke-yonge@mq.edu.au, or 9850 8826
W6A 722
Monday 1-2pm, or by arrangement
Tutor
TBA - See iLearn
Contact via via "Dialogues" in iLearn
Jennifer Duke-Yonge
Prerequisites Prerequisites
Corequisites Corequisites
Co-badged status Co-badged status
Unit description Unit description
This unit introduces the big philosophical questions about human nature, personal identity and the meaning of life. What is the fundamental nature of reality? Are human beings somehow unique in nature? Do we have distinct selves that endure through time? What is the relation between our identity and the things that matter to us? We take a broadly historical approach, reading the classic philosophical texts as well as contemporary work. Three themes recur across the unit: the relation of mind and body, the quest for knowledge and the nature of the self. We begin with the philosophers of Ancient Greece. We look at how they understood the relationship between the self and the cosmos and the relation between body and soul. We then turn to conceptions of the mind at the dawn of the modern period, asking whether mind is entirely physical or could in principle survive bodily death. In the final section of the unit we focus on contemporary debates over the nature of personal identity. Is psychological continuity or bodily continuity the key to personal survival? We will then introduce the notion of narrative identity and examine more closely the role played by memory and our embodied experience in the construction of the self. All enrolment queries should be directed to Open Universities Australia (OUA): see www.open.edu.au

Important Academic Dates

Information about important academic dates including deadlines for withdrawing from units are available at https://www.open.edu.au/student-admin-and-support/key-dates/

Learning Outcomes

  1. You will understand the nature of mind and self using foundational philosophical ideas from the Early Modern period and beyond, at an introductory level.
  2. You will understand contemporary debates about the metaphysics of personal identity, at an introductory level.
  3. You will understand traditional and contemporary debates about the nature of the mind and consciousness.
  4. You will possess basic skills in philosophical analysis.
  5. You will be able to respond to some common theories of mind and personhood in a reflective and critical way.
  6. You will be able to express your own ideas with greater clarity, and construct stronger arguments than previously.

General Assessment Information

In Philosophy, academic honesty is taken very seriously. Misrepresenting someone else's work as your own may be grounds for referral to the Faculty Disciplinary Committee. If you have questions about how to properly cite work or how to credit sources, please talk to one of the teaching staff and see also the  Academic Honesty Policy http://mq.edu.au/policy/docs/academic_honesty/policy.html

Assessment Tasks

Name Weighting Hurdle Due
Online quiz 10% No Sun, Wk 4
Scaffolded essay 30% No Sun Wk 7
Final Essay 40% No Sun, Wk 13
Participation 20% No On-going

Online quiz

Due: Sun, Wk 4
Weighting: 10%

The online quiz is a 30 minute multiple choice quiz run through the unit website. It tests your understanding of important concepts introduced in the lectures and essential readings for weeks 1 to 3 and provides early feedback on your progress. It will be available from 9am Monday of week 4 to Midnight Sunday of week 4. The criterion for assessment will be understanding of the unit content, as demonstrated by the correct selection of answers in a multiple choice quiz.


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • You will understand the nature of mind and self using foundational philosophical ideas from the Early Modern period and beyond, at an introductory level.
  • You will understand traditional and contemporary debates about the nature of the mind and consciousness.

Scaffolded essay

Due: Sun Wk 7
Weighting: 30%

This assignment will be to provide an analysis and response to a philosophical topic from the first part of the unit. Your analysis will be 'scaffolded' by your answering a series of structured questions, each building on the next. This will allow you to do two things (i) understand the structure and form of a philosophy essay (ii) gauge your understanding of the relevant philosophical issues.

Criteria for assessment are understanding, focus, clarity, engagement and argumentation. A rubric will be available in iLearn.

The assessment task must be submitted through Turnitin in iLearn by 11.59pm on Sunday of week 7.

 


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • You will understand the nature of mind and self using foundational philosophical ideas from the Early Modern period and beyond, at an introductory level.
  • You will understand traditional and contemporary debates about the nature of the mind and consciousness.
  • You will possess basic skills in philosophical analysis.
  • You will be able to respond to some common theories of mind and personhood in a reflective and critical way.
  • You will be able to express your own ideas with greater clarity, and construct stronger arguments than previously.

Final Essay

Due: Sun, Wk 13
Weighting: 40%

This assignment will build upon the skills you developed during your first assignment, and will require you to answer an essay question on some subsection of material covered during weeks 5-12. Your word limit will be approximately 2000 words, and you will be allowed to use material and resources beyond those deemed essential for the essay question.

Criteria for assessment are understanding, focus, clarity, engagement and argumentation. A rubric will be available in iLearn.

The assessment task must be submitted through Turnitin in iLearn by 11.59pm on Sunday of Week 13


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • You will understand the nature of mind and self using foundational philosophical ideas from the Early Modern period and beyond, at an introductory level.
  • You will understand contemporary debates about the metaphysics of personal identity, at an introductory level.
  • You will understand traditional and contemporary debates about the nature of the mind and consciousness.
  • You will possess basic skills in philosophical analysis.
  • You will be able to respond to some common theories of mind and personhood in a reflective and critical way.
  • You will be able to express your own ideas with greater clarity, and construct stronger arguments than previously.

Participation

Due: On-going
Weighting: 20%

20% of the assessment for this unit is based on your participation. Your participation mark will be based on two components:

  •      online discussion (10%)
  •     engagement with course resources (10%)

Online discussion (10%)

Online forum participation represents a commitment to the academic environment necessary to any good philosophy course. Your mark will be based on the quality of your participation. This is not just measured by the philosophical content of your posts, but by your willingness to engage in discussion with your peers. Much of what you learn in philosophy you will learn by involving yourself in discussion and argument. So while we would like to see some well thought out responses to the topics for each week, we would also really encourage you to respond to the messages of other students, ask questions, post your thoughts and engage fully in the philosophical community. You'll find that if you make the most of the discussion facilities available, not only will you maximise your participation marks, but you will also get more out of the course in general.

 

Engagement with online resources (10%)

The website for this unit contains a lot of resources designed to help you get the most out of the course material. Each week, there are audio lectures with written notes to accompany them, reading questions to guide you through the readings, and self-test quizzes to allow you to test your own understanding of the topics that are introduced. To get the most out of the unit, you are expected to engage with these resources on a regular basis.

The marks for this component will be based on your engagement with the online self-test quizzes each week, which contain a review of the basic material for each week, and should be done after you have listened to the lectures and attempted the readings. To get the marks for this component of the assessment, you will need to complete each week’s online quiz to at least a Pass standard. You may attempt each quiz multiple times until you get to a Pass. You will receive 10 marks for completing all of the quizzes to a satisfactory standard, with a one mark deduction for each quiz that is not completed satisfactorily. The self-test quiz for each week will only be available until two weeks after the end of the relevant week (eg the week 3 quiz must be completed by the end of week 5). You will still be able to access your completed quizzes after this time for revision purposes.


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • You will understand the nature of mind and self using foundational philosophical ideas from the Early Modern period and beyond, at an introductory level.
  • You will understand contemporary debates about the metaphysics of personal identity, at an introductory level.
  • You will understand traditional and contemporary debates about the nature of the mind and consciousness.
  • You will possess basic skills in philosophical analysis.
  • You will be able to respond to some common theories of mind and personhood in a reflective and critical way.
  • You will be able to express your own ideas with greater clarity, and construct stronger arguments than previously.

Delivery and Resources

Required Reading 

There will be a core text to read for each topic on the course. These will not be very long pieces, and will be made available electronically.

Technology Used and Required

We use an iLearn website, and the Echo360 lecture recordings. Lecture notes and any other material you need will be available through the iLearn website. We recommend you have access to a reliable internet connection throughout semester.

Assignment Submission

Assignments in this course will be submitted electronically, as word documents. There is no need for a coversheet - the iLearn assignment submission (Turnitin) involves declaring your details and honesty in submitting your work. Please note, we do not accept submission by email attachment. 

Extensions and Special Consideration

Requests for extensions must, normally, be made in writing before the due date. Extensions of up to 3 days can be granted by your convenor if reasonable grounds are given, and some written documentation can be produced. Work load from other units, or from employment, are not considered reasonable justification. 

Requests for extensions of more than 3 days should be submitted via a Disruption to Studies Request, which is available in the ask.mq.edu.au portal. Your request should be accompanied by appropriate documentation, such as a medical certificate. Please see the Disruption to Studies policy in the list of policies at the end of this document for further details. Read the policy closely as your request may be turned down if you have not followed procedure, or if you have not submitted a request in a timely manner. Work will not be accepted more than three weeks after the due date or extension date.

Unit Schedule

Important schedule information: Please note that OUA units offered by Macquarie University now follow Macquarie Sessions rather than OUA Study Periods. This will include a mid-session break of two weeks. You will find the Session dates here:

https://www.open.edu.au/student-admin-and-support/key-dates-2017/

 

Section One - Foundational Problems in Mind and Knowledge (Dr Albert Atkin)

Week 1: General Introduction and Descartes on What can be known

Week 2: Responding to Descartes - the nature of knowledge; the problem of scepticism

Week 3: Descartes on The nature of the mind 

Week 4: Responding to Descartes - other kinds of Dualism; Behaviourism

 

Section Two - Identity and The Self (Dr Rachael Brown)

Week 5: Traditional Accounts of Personal Identity - John Locke

Week 6:  Contemporary Accounts of Personal Identity - Derek Parfit 

Week 7: Contemporary Accounts of Personal Identity - The Body and the Boundaries of the Self

~ Mid Semester Break ~

Week 8: Moving Beyond Personal Identity - Memory and Agency

 

Section Three - Free will, Consciousness and Cognition (Dr Richard Heersmink)

Week 9: Free Will

Week 10: Consciousness

Week 11: Extended and Embodied Cognition

Week 12: Artificial Intelligence

Policies and Procedures

Late Submission

Unless otherwise stated, late submission of written work will result in a deduction of 10% of the mark awarded for each week or part of a week beyond the due date, or date to which an extension has been granted.

Extension Request

Disruption to Studies Procedure (http://www.mq.edu.au/policy/docs/disruption_studies/procedure.html)

The University recognises that students may experience disruptions that adversely affect their academic performance in assessment activities.

The disruption to studies policy (http://www.mq.edu.au/policy/docs/disruption_studies/policy.html) applies only to serious and unavoidable disruptions that arise after a study period has commenced.

Serious and unavoidable disruption

The University classifies a disruption as serious and unavoidable if it:

  • could not have reasonably been anticipated, avoided or guarded against by the student; and
  • was beyond the student's control; and
  • caused substantial disruption to the student's capacity for effective study and/or completion of required work; and
  • occurred during an event critical study period and was at least three (3) consecutive days duration, and/or
  • prevented completion of a final examination.

If you feel that you've been impacted by a serious and unavoidable disruption to study situation, submit an application as follows:

  1. Visit Ask MQ (https://ask.mq.edu.au) and use your OneID to log in via 'Current student domestic and international'
  2. Under 'Forms' select 'disruptions' and fill in your relevant details.
  3. Attach supporting documents by clicking 'Add a reply', click 'browse' and navigating to the files you want to attach, then click 'submit form' to send your notification and supporting documents
  4. Please keep copies of your original documents, as they may be requested in the future as part of the assessment process

Review

Once your submission is assessed, recommendations are sent to your unit convenor to ensure an appropriate solution for affected assessment(s) is organised.

OUA Specific Policies and Procedures

OUA Special Circumstances Process

Special Circumstances refers to late withdrawal from a unit and your request to have your circumstances taken into account for a possible refund of fees and removal of a "fail" result.

Applications for Special Circumstances are to be submitted to Open Universities Australia directly:

https://www.open.edu.au/public/student-admin-and-support/student-support-services/special-circumstances

Macquarie University policies and procedures are accessible from Policy Central. Students should be aware of the following policies in particular with regard to Learning and Teaching:

Academic Honesty Policy http://mq.edu.au/policy/docs/academic_honesty/policy.html

Assessment Policy http://mq.edu.au/policy/docs/assessment/policy_2016.html

Grade Appeal Policy http://mq.edu.au/policy/docs/gradeappeal/policy.html

Complaint Management Procedure for Students and Members of the Public http://www.mq.edu.au/policy/docs/complaint_management/procedure.html​

Disruption to Studies Policy (in effect until Dec 4th, 2017): http://www.mq.edu.au/policy/docs/disruption_studies/policy.html

Special Consideration Policy (in effect from Dec 4th, 2017): https://staff.mq.edu.au/work/strategy-planning-and-governance/university-policies-and-procedures/policies/special-consideration

In addition, a number of other policies can be found in the Learning and Teaching Category of Policy Central.

Student Code of Conduct

Macquarie University students have a responsibility to be familiar with the Student Code of Conduct: https://students.mq.edu.au/support/student_conduct/

Results

Results shown in iLearn, or released directly by your Unit Convenor, are not confirmed as they are subject to final approval by the University. Once approved, final results will be sent to your student email address and will be made available in eStudent. For more information visit ask.mq.edu.au.

Student Support

Macquarie University provides a range of support services for students. For details, visit http://students.mq.edu.au/support/

Learning Skills

Learning Skills (mq.edu.au/learningskills) provides academic writing resources and study strategies to improve your marks and take control of your study.

Student Enquiry Service

For all student enquiries, visit Student Connect at ask.mq.edu.au

Equity Support

Students with a disability are encouraged to contact the Disability Service who can provide appropriate help with any issues that arise during their studies.

IT Help

For help with University computer systems and technology, visit http://www.mq.edu.au/about_us/offices_and_units/information_technology/help/

When using the University's IT, you must adhere to the Acceptable Use of IT Resources Policy. The policy applies to all who connect to the MQ network including students.

Graduate Capabilities

Problem Solving and Research Capability

Our graduates should be capable of researching; of analysing, and interpreting and assessing data and information in various forms; of drawing connections across fields of knowledge; and they should be able to relate their knowledge to complex situations at work or in the world, in order to diagnose and solve problems. We want them to have the confidence to take the initiative in doing so, within an awareness of their own limitations.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • You will understand traditional and contemporary debates about the nature of the mind and consciousness.
  • You will possess basic skills in philosophical analysis.
  • You will be able to respond to some common theories of mind and personhood in a reflective and critical way.
  • You will be able to express your own ideas with greater clarity, and construct stronger arguments than previously.

Assessment tasks

  • Scaffolded essay
  • Final Essay
  • Participation

Creative and Innovative

Our graduates will also be capable of creative thinking and of creating knowledge. They will be imaginative and open to experience and capable of innovation at work and in the community. We want them to be engaged in applying their critical, creative thinking.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcome

  • You will be able to express your own ideas with greater clarity, and construct stronger arguments than previously.

Assessment tasks

  • Scaffolded essay
  • Final Essay
  • Participation

Effective Communication

We want to develop in our students the ability to communicate and convey their views in forms effective with different audiences. We want our graduates to take with them the capability to read, listen, question, gather and evaluate information resources in a variety of formats, assess, write clearly, speak effectively, and to use visual communication and communication technologies as appropriate.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • You will possess basic skills in philosophical analysis.
  • You will be able to respond to some common theories of mind and personhood in a reflective and critical way.
  • You will be able to express your own ideas with greater clarity, and construct stronger arguments than previously.

Assessment tasks

  • Scaffolded essay
  • Final Essay
  • Participation

Engaged and Ethical Local and Global citizens

As local citizens our graduates will be aware of indigenous perspectives and of the nation's historical context. They will be engaged with the challenges of contemporary society and with knowledge and ideas. We want our graduates to have respect for diversity, to be open-minded, sensitive to others and inclusive, and to be open to other cultures and perspectives: they should have a level of cultural literacy. Our graduates should be aware of disadvantage and social justice, and be willing to participate to help create a wiser and better society.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • You will understand traditional and contemporary debates about the nature of the mind and consciousness.
  • You will possess basic skills in philosophical analysis.
  • You will be able to respond to some common theories of mind and personhood in a reflective and critical way.
  • You will be able to express your own ideas with greater clarity, and construct stronger arguments than previously.

Assessment tasks

  • Scaffolded essay
  • Final Essay
  • Participation

Socially and Environmentally Active and Responsible

We want our graduates to be aware of and have respect for self and others; to be able to work with others as a leader and a team player; to have a sense of connectedness with others and country; and to have a sense of mutual obligation. Our graduates should be informed and active participants in moving society towards sustainability.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • You will possess basic skills in philosophical analysis.
  • You will be able to respond to some common theories of mind and personhood in a reflective and critical way.
  • You will be able to express your own ideas with greater clarity, and construct stronger arguments than previously.

Assessment tasks

  • Scaffolded essay
  • Final Essay
  • Participation

Capable of Professional and Personal Judgement and Initiative

We want our graduates to have emotional intelligence and sound interpersonal skills and to demonstrate discernment and common sense in their professional and personal judgement. They will exercise initiative as needed. They will be capable of risk assessment, and be able to handle ambiguity and complexity, enabling them to be adaptable in diverse and changing environments.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • You will understand traditional and contemporary debates about the nature of the mind and consciousness.
  • You will be able to respond to some common theories of mind and personhood in a reflective and critical way.
  • You will be able to express your own ideas with greater clarity, and construct stronger arguments than previously.

Assessment tasks

  • Scaffolded essay
  • Final Essay
  • Participation

Discipline Specific Knowledge and Skills

Our graduates will take with them the intellectual development, depth and breadth of knowledge, scholarly understanding, and specific subject content in their chosen fields to make them competent and confident in their subject or profession. They will be able to demonstrate, where relevant, professional technical competence and meet professional standards. They will be able to articulate the structure of knowledge of their discipline, be able to adapt discipline-specific knowledge to novel situations, and be able to contribute from their discipline to inter-disciplinary solutions to problems.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • You will understand the nature of mind and self using foundational philosophical ideas from the Early Modern period and beyond, at an introductory level.
  • You will understand contemporary debates about the metaphysics of personal identity, at an introductory level.
  • You will understand traditional and contemporary debates about the nature of the mind and consciousness.
  • You will possess basic skills in philosophical analysis.
  • You will be able to respond to some common theories of mind and personhood in a reflective and critical way.
  • You will be able to express your own ideas with greater clarity, and construct stronger arguments than previously.

Assessment tasks

  • Online quiz
  • Scaffolded essay
  • Final Essay
  • Participation

Critical, Analytical and Integrative Thinking

We want our graduates to be capable of reasoning, questioning and analysing, and to integrate and synthesise learning and knowledge from a range of sources and environments; to be able to critique constraints, assumptions and limitations; to be able to think independently and systemically in relation to scholarly activity, in the workplace, and in the world. We want them to have a level of scientific and information technology literacy.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • You will understand the nature of mind and self using foundational philosophical ideas from the Early Modern period and beyond, at an introductory level.
  • You will understand contemporary debates about the metaphysics of personal identity, at an introductory level.
  • You will understand traditional and contemporary debates about the nature of the mind and consciousness.
  • You will possess basic skills in philosophical analysis.
  • You will be able to respond to some common theories of mind and personhood in a reflective and critical way.
  • You will be able to express your own ideas with greater clarity, and construct stronger arguments than previously.

Assessment tasks

  • Scaffolded essay
  • Final Essay
  • Participation

Changes from Previous Offering

Changes to content, assessment and readings.