Where is the Mind?

Course summary

Where is the Mind?


There are all sorts of reasons for thinking that the mind is in the head. It is not, after all, events in the environment that make you do what you do, it is your beliefs about such events. Beliefs, surely, are in your head? If you think the mind is the brain, of course, you will certainly think that the mind is in the head. But in recent years many philosophers have turned their back on this obvious thought and embraced externalism in the philosophy of mind. In doing this they claim that mental states are not in the head. During this weekend we shall be considering the arguments for (and against) this claim, and the ramifications for its truth. There will be plenty of opportunity to question the lecturer and to discuss the issues with other participants.

Programme details



2.45pm         Course Registration


3.00pm         Descartes and the assumption of internalism


4.30pm         Tea / coffee


5.00pm         The arguments for externalism (one)


6.30pm         Break / bar open


7.00pm         Dinner


8.15pm-        The arguments for externalism (two)





8.15am         Breakfast (residents only)


9.30am         Externalism is true: What then?


10.45am       Coffee / tea


11.15am       Question and answer


12.30pm       Break / bar open


1.00pm         Lunch


2.00pm         Course disperses


Recommended reading


This entry in the Internet Encyclopaedia of Philosophy will give you the basics: http://www.iep.utm.edu/int-ex-ml/


If you’d like to read the academic paper that started the whole thing you can read it here: Putnam, Hilary, 1975. “The Meaning of Meaning,” Philosophical Papers, Vol. II : Mind, Language, and Reality, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. But it is difficult and you might prefer to watch this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KE8NL9G_Fq8


A full reading list will be given out during the lectures.



Accommodation for this weekend is at Rewley House for Saturday night only.

Depending on availability it may also be possible to extend your stay, please enquire at the time of booking for availability and prices.


All bedrooms are modern, comfortably furnished and each room has tea and coffee making facilities, Freeview television, and Free WiFi and private bath or shower rooms.


Unfortunately it is not yet possible to book twin room accommodation online, so if you wish to book a twin room, please send in your completed enrolment form or contact the Day & Weekend Events Office, Email: ppdayweek@conted.ox.ac.uk


Tuition (includes tea/coffee): £77.00
Baguette Sunday: £4.70
Dinner Saturday evening: £19.00
Hot Lunch Sunday: £13.50
Single B&B Saturday night: £75.85
Single Room Only Saturday Night: £64.85
Twin B&B Saturday night - per person: £54.35


If you are in receipt of a state benefit you may be eligible for a reduction of 50% of tuition fees.

If you do not qualify for the concessionary fee but are experiencing financial hardship, you may still be eligible for financial assistance.

Concessionary fees for short courses



Ms Marianne Talbot

Course Tutor and Director of Studies


Marianne Talbot took her first degree at London University, then her B.Phil at Oxford (Corpus Christi College). She has taught for the colleges of Oxford University for 30 years (1987 – 1990 at Pembroke College, 1991 – 2000 at Brasenose College). She has been Director of Studies in Philosophy at OUDCE since 2001. She is the author of Bioethics: An Introduction, and Critical Reasoning: A Romp Through the Foothills of Logic. Marianne’s podcasts have been hugely popular. Two of them have been global number one on iTunesU. One of these (The Nature of Arguments) has been downloaded 7 million times.