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MIN5090 - Pathologies of the Self

12 points, SCA Band 1, 0.250 EFTSL

Postgraduate Faculty of Arts

Leader: Ian Gold


Clayton Summer semester A 2007 (Day)


One can learn a great deal about how the body works by seeing what happens when it goes wrong. The same is true of the mind. In this course we will investigate the nature of the self by looking at what happens when it is disordered. Some of the phenomena we will consider are: dissociative identity disorder (formerly multiple personality disorder); split brains; autism; frontal lobe syndrome; delusion; amnesia; depersonalisation disorder; and gender identity disorder. We will consider in what sense these phenomena are pathologies of the self, and what they reveal about the normal self.


On successful completion of this unit, students will: 1. be acquainted with a range of theoretical views about the nature of the self;
2. be acquainted with the main features of a number of psychiatric and neurological disorders with a claim to being pathologies of selfhood;
3. have developed views about the way in which these disorders may contribute to the theory of the self.


Class paper (4,500 words): 50%;
Class paper (4,500 words): 50%

Contact hours

1 two-hour seminar per week


At least one unit in any of: philosophy, psychology, or medicine