Philosophy of the Mind


At the end the students will understand the main problems of Philosophy of Mind and recognize the interconnection with some of the traditional issues of other areas of philosophy. Be acquainted with key ideas of philosophy of mind as well as classical arguments for its development and the technical terminology required to master it (Identification of Categorical Error, Qualia, Multiple Realization, etc.), as well as being able to articulate the arguments for and against central positions about the issues. Also, they will reinforce their abilities to analyze philosophical texts and raise questions relevant to their interpretation and to the development of philosophical reflection. In addition they will be capable to establish a philosophical dialogue with the contemporary issues as with recent data of neuroscience, pedagogical postures and ethical and political problems of our current times. Class B taught in English

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Nuno Carlos da Silva Carvalho Costa Venturinha


Weekly - 4

Total - 168

Teaching language



Not applicable.


Parte I (Nuno Venturinha)

ARISTÓTELES (1936) Peri psyches / On the Soul, in On the Soul - Parva Naturalia - On Breath (tr. W. S. Hett): Aristotle in Twenty-Three Volumes, vol. VIII, 1-203. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press; (2010) Sobre a Alma (tr. A. M. Lóio): Obras Completas de Aristóteles, vol. III, t. I. Lisboa: INCM.
BENNETT, M. R. (2007) Development of the Concept of Mind. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Phychiatry 41: 943-956.
DESCARTES, R. (1973) Meditationes de prima philosophia: OEuvres de Descartes, vol. VII. Paris: Vrin; (1992) Meditações sobre a Filosofia Primeira (tr. G. de Fraga). Coimbra: Almedina.

Parte II (Dina Mendonça)

CLARK, A. & CHALMERS, D. (1998) The Extended Mind. Analysis 58: 7-19.
GALLAGHER, S. & ZAHAVI, D., eds. (2020) The Phenomenological Mind: An Introduction to Philosophy of Mind and Cognitive Science, 3.ª ed. Londres: Routledge.
Ryle, G. (2009). Descartes' Myth, in The Concept of Mind, 60th anniversary edition, 1-13. Londres: Routledge.

Teaching method

Exposition of the readings and commentaries on them.

Evaluation method

Evaluation Methodologies - Two exams (50% + 50%)(100%)

Subject matter

The concept of mind has a long history in the Western philosophical tradition which is essential to understand current issues in philosophy of mind and cognitive science. The first part of the course begins with a study of classical views of "psyché" focusing in particular on Aristotle's monism in the De anima. We shall consider next Descartes’ dualist conception of the mind in the Meditations on First Philosophy and a whole series of problems to which it gave rise. The second part will focus on some of the problems that the subjective dimension raises within the scope of the philosophy of mind. The classes will cover some of the fundamental contributions in its development as well as some recent investigations in this area. We shall explore questions like: What difference do sensations to an understanding of the theory of mind? Can processes be designed beyond the boundaries of the human body? How does the philosophy of emotions contribute to the development of the philosophy of mind?


Programs where the course is taught: