1 x 2-hour seminar weekly
9 units of topics
Enrolment not permitted
PHIL2030 has been successfully completed
Assumed knowledge
As a third-year level topic in the Philosophy major sequence, this topic assumes a familiarity with the kind of knowledge, conceptual understanding and skill that would be acquired by completion of at least 9 units of second-year level topics from the Philosophy major sequence.
Topic description
This topic examines an important psychological capacity - the capacity to understand what other people are thinking and feeling. This capacity is often called mindreading. We will examine two theories of the cognitive mechanisms which underpin mindreading; examine the development of mindreading in young children; discuss the evolution of mindreading; and investigate the kinds of mental disorders which occur when the capacity to mindread breaks down. Throughout the topic emphasis will be placed on careful thinking and clear written expression.
Educational aims
This topic aims to:

  • discuss the significance of our capacity to understand the minds of others

  • introduce students to the theory-theory and simulation theory

  • introduce students to issues in the development and evolution of mindreading

  • introduce students to issues in the psychopathology of mindreading
Expected learning outcomes
On completing this topic students should be able to:

  • demonstrate an appreciation of the role of mindreading in our lives

  • outline and assess the theory-theory and simulation theory

  • understand the development and evolution of mindreading

  • understand pathologies of mindreading

  • write and think with greater clarity