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Four defining properties of the mind

In this video Mark Solms briefly describes the four defining properties of the mind: subjectivity, consciousness, intentionality and agency.

In the following six weeks we use the evidence and insights from diverse disciplines to address the question: What is a mind? This will lead to further questions such as what a mind is for and what it does.

For me it is a disturbing exercise to ask my own Psychology students what a ‘mind’ is. Psychology is of course the science of the mind, and yet they have great difficulty answering the question. I sometimes gain the impression from their answers that the more you study Psychology, the less you know about the mind. They seem to end up believing that it is just a very complicated information-processing device. They forget what it means to be a mind.

This course focuses on four defining features of the mind:

  • Subjectivity (Week 2)
  • Consciousness (Week 3)
  • Intentionality (Week 4)
  • Agency (Week 5)

In the following weeks, we will unpack each of these defining characteristics of the mind and explore how and why they relate to the body and brain.

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What is a Mind?

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FutureLearn - Learning For Life

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