Philosophy MA/BSc/MA(SocSci)

Philosophy Of Perception PHIL4031

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Humanities
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Either Semester 1 or Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

The course will look at theories of perception and perceptual experience that have been developed over the last fifty years, such as sense-datum accounts, doxastic theories, causal theories and disjunctive conceptions, and modern representationalist theories


16x1hr lectures; 4x1hr seminars over 10 weeks as scheduled on MyCampus. This is one of the Honours options in Philosophy and may not run every year. The options that are running this session are available on MyCampus.

Excluded Courses





Exam (2 hour duration) - 60%

Essay (2000 words) - 40%

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable for Honours courses

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

Course Aims

This course aims to:


■ Introduce students to contemporary analytic philosophy of perception.

■ Explore the nature of the mental states that occur during perception

■ Review the philosophical theories of perception.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course, students will be able to:


■ Discuss critically several of the major theories of perception and perceptual experience that have been developed over the last fifty years;

■ Explain different accounts of the nature of the mental states that occur during perceptual processes, and of how perception can lead to knowledge or justified belief;

■ Assess whether these theories provide a suitable account of the epistemology of perception;

■ Critically assess theories about the nature of colour;

■ Evaluate hypotheses concerning the nature of and relation between experiences in different sensory modalities.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.