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What is consciousness? How does the brain generate consciousness and how can a science of the mind describe and explain it adequately? This free course, Introducing consciousness, will introduce you to the slippery phenomenon that is consciousness, as well as some of the difficulties consciousness presents to science and philosophy.
After studying this course, you should be able to:
- discuss basic philosophical questions concerning the nature of consciousness
- understand problems concerning the nature of consciousness and discuss them in a philosophical way.
- Current section: Introduction
- Learning outcomes
- 1 Consciousness
- 2 Defining consciousness
- 3 The elusiveness of consciousness
- 4 The problem of consciousness
- 5 Conclusion
- Keep on learning
- Further reading
Study this free course
Enrol to access the full course, get recognition for the skills you learn, track your progress and on completion gain a statement of participation to demonstrate your learning to others. Make your learning visible!
Consciousness is at once the most important and most baffling aspect of the mind. It is the very heart of our existence yet it is extraordinarily difficult to describe and explain. This course introduces consciousness, and the ‘hard problem’ it presents for a science of the mind.
This OpenLearn course provides a sample of Level 3 study in.
This free course includes adapted extracts from an Open University course which is no longer available to new students. If you found this interesting you could explore more free Philosophy courses or view the range of currently available OU Philosophy courses.
Copyright & revisions
Originally published: Monday, 18th January 2016
Last updated on: Monday, 18th January 2016
- Creative-Commons: The Open University is proud to release this free course under a Creative Commons licence. However, any third-party materials featured within it are used with permission and are not ours to give away. These materials are not subject to the Creative Commons licence. See terms and conditions. Full details can be found in the Acknowledgements and our FAQs section.
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