ASP299 - Minds in Action: Philosophy of Human and Artificial Intelligence (AI)


2024 unit information

Enrolment modes:

Trimester 1: Burwood (Melbourne), Waurn Ponds (Geelong), Online

From 2025:

Trimester 2: Burwood (Melbourne), Waurn Ponds (Geelong), Online

Credit point(s): 1
EFTSL value: 0.125
Cohort rule: Nil


Corequisite: Nil
Study commitment

Students will on average spend 150-hours over the trimester undertaking the teaching, learning and assessment activities for this unit.

This will include educator guided online learning activities within the unit site.

Students will spend approximately 10-hours per week on a one credit point unit. This includes time spent reading, reflecting, researching and writing as well as scheduled learning activities.

Campus students are scheduled to attend one one-hour lecture, and one one-hour tutorial, each week.

Online students are scheduled to attend one one-hour seminar each week. Recordings of both on-campus and online seminars will be made available on the unit site. 

All essential unit materials will be available on the unit site, including weekly readings and seminar recordings. All students are expected to prepare for each weekly topic by completing the weekly essential readings

Scheduled learning activities - campus

1 x 1-hour lecture per week (recordings provided)

1 x 1-hour seminar per week

Scheduled learning activities - online

1 x 1-hour lecture per week (recordings provided)

1 x 1-hour online seminar per week


Intelligent behaviour and action is characteristic of many living creatures, with human minds being both context-sensitive and flexible, and also sometimes very abstract (i.e. doing philosophy!). Both have been difficult for artificial intelligence to emulate, but new developments in AI promise to change that, thus challenging our conceptions of mind and cognition, and raising ethical and political questions that are vital to our futures.

This unit introduces students to some of the many important connections between psychology and philosophy concerning cognition, embodiment, action and intelligence. It outlines some of the key issues concerning the relationship between mind and body, and debates in the philosophy of action. It also addresses some pressing questions related to ongoing developments in artificial intelligence and machine learning. What is the role of our bodies and our brains in human cognition and action? Is our thinking and action also always social and collective? Might machines, or other forms of AI, think? Can AI replicate or replace human intelligence? What ethical questions are raised from autonomous AI systems and how should they be constrained? The aim is both to introduce students to key issues in philosophy of mind but complement this with practical and real-world applications in regard to our cognitively augmented futures.

Unit Fee Information

Select the fee link below which describes you: