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Regular version of the site

Philosophy of Cognitive Science

2019/2020
Academic Year
ENG
Instruction in English
3
ECTS credits
Course type:
Elective course
When:
4 year, 1 module

Instructor

Course Syllabus

Abstract

Cognitive science is an interdisciplinary field that draws from anthropology, computer science, linguistics, philosophy, and psychology to explain how the mind works. This course seeks to provide students with an overview of the field, with a focus on those issues that are of particular relevance to philosophy. To do this, we’ll look some of the most important philosophical debates that have taken place within cognitive science over the past fifty years. Some of these debates are “settled” (or, at least, people have moved on), while others are not. Topics include (but are not limited to): intentionality; weak and strong AI; consciousness; reductionism; conditional semantics; evolution and cognition; animal cognition; and innateness. There are no prerequisite for the course.
Learning Objectives

Learning Objectives

  • The goal of this course is to provide students with a general understanding of some important philosophical issues within cognitive science and to allow students to appreciate how results from cognitive science can inform traditional philosophical debates about the mind.
Expected Learning Outcomes

Expected Learning Outcomes

  • Learn about the relationship between the mind, meaning, and external content
  • Learn to what extent our minds are shaped by natural selection
  • Learn about the concept and limits of non-human cognition
  • Learn about consciousness and issues involving innateness and reduction
  • Learn about how work that attempts to understand how the brain creates subjective experience
  • Students will learn about the idea of innateness and whether there are any innate traits
  • Learn about how counterfactuals are analyzed and some unresolved problems with how to analyze them
Course Contents

Course Contents

  • Consciousness
    How does the brain create subjective experience?
  • Innateness
    What knowledge structures are innate?
  • History of Cognitive Science
    History of Cognitive Science
  • Evolutionary Psychology
  • Animal Minds
  • Conditional Semantics
Assessment Elements

Assessment Elements

  • non-blocking participation
  • non-blocking Quiz
  • non-blocking Exam
Interim Assessment

Interim Assessment

  • Interim assessment (1 module)
    0.7 * Exam + 0.2 * participation + 0.1 * Quiz
Bibliography

Bibliography

Recommended Core Bibliography

  • Bernard J Baars. (2013). A scientific approach to silent consciousness. Frontiers in Psychology. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00678
  • Cosmides, L., Guzman, R. A., & Tooby, J. (2019). The Evolution of Moral Cognition. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edssch&AN=edssch.oai%3aescholarship.org%2fark%3a%2f13030%2fqt0sh5f06z
  • Lewis, D. K. (2001). Counterfactuals (Vol. [Rev. ed.]). Malden, Mass: Wiley-Blackwell. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=591215
  • Russell, G., & Fara, D. G. (2011). Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Language. New York: Routledge. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=479847
  • Searle, J. (1980). Minds, Brains and Programs. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edscog&AN=edscog.7150
  • Spelke, E. S., & Kinzler, K. D. (2007). Core knowledge. Developmental Science, 10(1), 89–96. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-7687.2007.00569.x

Recommended Additional Bibliography

  • Andrews, K. (2015). The Animal Mind : An Introduction to the Philosophy of Animal Cognition. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=882792