PP3WMA-Wittgenstein’s Philosophy of Mind and Action

Module Provider: Philosophy
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2020/1

Module Convenor: Dr Severin Schroeder

Email: s.j.schroeder@reading.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:

This module introduces students to Ludwig Wittgenstein’s philosophy of mind and action, mainly based on the relevant discussions in his Philosophical Investigations. 


The module will combine an introduction to the development and historical background of Wittgenstein’s thinking with textual exegesis and a critical discussion of his main arguments in the philosophy of mind and action.

Assessable learning outcomes:

By the end of this module, students will be able to explain key ideas in Wittgenstein’s later philosophy of mind and action, and to assess their relevance to current philosophical debates. Students’ oral skills will be improved by their presentation of material on a given topic in the seminar section of this module, and group interaction will be encouraged by discussion in both lectures and seminars.

Additional outcomes:

Students will gain a valuable perspective on other topics studied in their philosophy degree. Through reading and discussing passages of the Philosophical Investigations students will improve both their hermeneutic and their logico-analytic skills.

Outline content:

Topics covered on the module will typically include: sensations and the Private Language Argument, thinking and mental representation, emotions, perception, voluntary action, acting for reasons.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

The module is taught by lectures and seminars. Students are expected to attend 10 hours of lectures and 5 hours of seminars during the term in which the module’s lecture and seminar classes take place. All students are required to write a single essay from a list of questions supplied by the module convenor. The essay assignment will be due in week 5 of the Summer term. In addition, students will be required to write a short précis of the topic for discussion in each seminar clas s. Students are encouraged to be active in all classes, asking questions and trying to answer the questions posed by others. A reading list and sample questions will be given out at the start of the course. 

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 10
Seminars 5
Guided independent study: 85
Total hours by term 100
Total hours for module 100

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 100

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

Formative assessment methods:

Students will write a short précis of the topic for discussion for every seminar class. Some classes may involve quizzes. 

Penalties for late submission:

The Module Convenor will apply the following penalties for work submitted late:

  • where the piece of work is submitted after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for that piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day[1] (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.
The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmission.pdf
You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

Assessment requirements for a pass:

A mark of 40% overall

Reassessment arrangements:

Written assignment, to be completed in August/September. 

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

Last updated: 4 April 2020


Things to do now