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Res Cogitans: Descartes on Mind and Knowledge (6 points)


Leader: Aubrey Townsend

Clayton First semester 2004 (OCL)
Clayton Second semester 2004 (Day)
Clayton Second semester 2004 (OCL)
Gippsland Second semester 2004 (Day)
Clayton Summer 2004 (OCL)

Synopsis: 'I think therefore I am'. In the Meditations Descartes gave central place to the idea that to be human is to be a thinking thing (or res cogitans). His discussion of what this involves set the agenda for modern philosophical debates in epistemology, metaphysics and cognitive theory. This unit will examine the entire Cartesian system, but with special emphasis on Descartes' views about the possibility of knowledge and what it is to be a thinking thing. We will follow these themes into contemporary philosophical discussions. www.arts.monash.edu.au/phil/undergraduate/lateryears.html

Assessment: Two exercises (750 words each): 20% + Essay (2000 words): 40% + Seminar participation 10% + Test (1 hour): 30% + Distance Education: The expository exercises and seminar participation will be replaced by contributions to the electronic discussion group. On-campus students have the option of proceeding in the same way as DE students

Contact Hours: 2 x 1 hour class per week

Prerequisites: A first-year unit in Philosophy or Psychology

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