Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas

PHILOSOPHY OF MIND - 2nd semester



Academic unit

Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas





Teacher in charge

Dina Mendonça, Nuno Carlos Venturinha, Robert Clowes

Weekly hours


Teaching language



1. Gain general information about the fundamental problems currently dealt with in the philosophy of mind.
2. Relate the problems of current philosophy of mind to some of the traditional questions of the theory of knowledge and philosophical psychology.
3. Understand the problems of the brain/mind relations in the light of the most recent data of neuroscience.

Class B taught in English


Not applicable.

Subject matter

Concepts of Mind

The concept \"mind\" has a history in the Western tradition which needs to be appreciated if one wants to understand current issues in the philosophy of mind and psychology. We begin with classic views about \"psyché\" paying particular attention to Aristotle´s De anima. We then move to Descartes´ reflections on the workings of the mind, especially in the Meditations on First Philosophy, and see how Husserl´s phenomenological psychology responds to Cartesian dualism in the Cartesian Meditations. The final stage of the course is devoted to other criticisms of Cartesian dualism, namely Wittgenstein´s in his post-metaphysical philosophy of psychology and Ryle´s in The Concept of Mind, each of which has exerted a profound influence on contemporary approaches to the phenomenon of ´mind´, among them the so-called enactivism.


Aristóteles. (1936). Peri psychés / On the Soul. In On the Soul - Parva Naturalia - On Breath. Aristotle in Twenty-Three Volumes, vol. VIII (pp. 1-203). Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press; (2010). Sobre a Alma, Obras Completas de Aristóteles, vol. III, t. I. Lisboa: IN-CM.
Descartes, R. (1973). Meditationes de prima philosophia, Œuvres de Descartes, vol. VII. Paris: Vrin; (1992). Meditações sobre a Filosofia Primeira. Coimbra: Almedina.
Husserl, E. (1950). Cartesianische Meditationen und Pariser Vorträge, Husserliana, vol. 1. Den Haag: Martinus Nijhoff; (2010). Meditações Cartesianas e Conferências de Paris, Obras de Edmund Husserl. Lisboa: Centro de Filosofia da Universidade de Lisboa.
Ryle, G. (2009). The Concept of Mind. London: Routledge.
Wittgenstein, L. (1982-1992). Letzte Schriften über die Philosophie der Psychologie / Last Writings on the Philosophy of Psychology, 2 vols. Oxford: Blackwell; (2007). Últimos Escritos sobre a Filosofia da Psicologia. Lisboa: FCG.

Teaching method

The method adopted for the class combines exposition of the readings and commentaries on them along with discussion of student papers.
In class teaching

Evaluation method

Besides a final exam (60%), each student is required to write a review of a contemporary article or book chapter, to be chosen from a list of papers selected by the teacher, that will be presented and discussed in class (40%).