PHIL4103 Consciousness

Credit
6 points
Offering
(see Timetable)

If this unit does not have an online alternative, then students who are presently unable to enter Western Australia and whose studies would be delayed by an inability to complete this unit, should contact the unit coordinator (details given on this page) to ascertain, on an individual case-by-case basis, if alternate arrangements can be made to support their study in this unit.

AvailabilityLocationMode
Semester 2UWA (Perth)Face to face Predominantly face-to-face. On campus attendance required to complete this unit. May have accompanying resources online.
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Honours option in Philosophy [Bachelor of Arts (Honours)]
Content
This unit has two parts. The first part investigates the nature of consciousness and considers such questions as—Is consciousness essentially subjective and private? Is there a distinction between how consciousness appears and how it really is? Is there anything more to conscious experiences than how they represent the world? The second part of the unit investigates whether or not consciousness is a physical phenomenon. In particular, this part considers whether or not consciousness either reduces to or supervenes on the physical. In considering that question the famous anti-physicalist arguments involving Mary the colour scientist and Zombies are examined in detail.
Outcomes
Students are able to (1) strengthen generic intellectual skills such as analysing and critically assessing arguments, constructing and expressing their own arguments, and constructing and expressing explanations of phenomena; (2) have a critical understanding of the core philosophical issues related to consciousness, including distinctions among different concepts of consciousness and the relationship between consciousness and representational mental states; (3) have a deep understanding of contemporary arguments for and against physicalism; and (4) relate issues in the philosophy of consciousness to issues in the philosophy of mind, metaphysics, epistemology and the philosophy of language.
Assessment
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) an essay; (2) test; and (3) participation. Further information is available in the unit outline.

To pass this unit, a student must: (a) achieve an overall mark of 50 per cent or higher for the unit; and (b) achieve the requisite requirements(s) or a mark of 50 per cent or greater, whichever is higher and specified in the unit outline, for the participation component.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit.
Unit Coordinator(s)
Dr Clas Weber
Unit rules
Prerequisites:
sufficient units in the relevant major at the specified standard for entry to the honours specialisation
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.