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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences : Philosophy

Postgraduate Course: Advanced topics in Mind, Language and Embodied Cognition (PHIL11038)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course aims to provide an in depth treatment of a single topic or text, usually in the broad area of the study of the embodied mind.

The teaching is seminar based, and each week students prepare by reading and commenting on set work.
Course description This course examines conceptual issues arising from recent empirical work on the nature of perception and action. The topics include philosophical, psychological, neuroscientific, and computational perspectives on issues such as: What is perception, and how does perception relate to action? Is the picture of action as controlled by 'inner zombie systems' correct (and in what ways, if any, would that affect our views of action and of conscious control)? What does change-blindness really suggest about our knowledge of the visual scene? Is conscious experience rich (overflowing 'access') or shallow? Does 'sensorimotor contingency theory' offer an adequate account of perception? Is sensory substitution (the use of one modality, such as touch, to replace another, such as vision) possible? What is attention, and how does it relate to conscious perceptual experience? What is the role of prediction in the construction of perception, emotion, and action? What is the correct metaphysics for the predictive mind?

Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2016/17, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 21, Feedback/Feedforward Hours 2, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 173 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) One 2500 word essay.

Essay deadline: Monday 17th April 2017 by 12 noon
Return deadline: Tuesday 9th May 2017
Feedback - Students have the opportunity to submit a formative essay by week 6 deadline on Turnitin via Learn. The essay cannot be draft of summative essay but it can be on the same topic.

Formative essay deadline: Thursday 2nd March 2017 by 12 noon
Return deadline: Friday 24th March 2017
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. demonstrate philosophical skills, including evaluating arguments and articulating one's own critical ideas in response
  2. engage a single target or topic in the kind of sustained depth required for professional publication and research.
  3. discuss and interpret empirical work in the cognitive sciences in a philosophical manner
Reading List
A good starting point is to read some of the books from the list below. Background reading is particularly important if you are new to philosophy of cognitive science.

Clark, A. (2013). Mindware: An Introduction to Cognitive Science (2nd Edition) Oxford University Press, Oxford.
Clark, A. (1997) Being There. MIT Press, London.
Crane, T. (2003). The Mechanical Mind. Routledge, London, 2nd edition.
Bechtel, W. (2008) Mental Mechanisms. Taylor & Francis, London.
Freeman, W. J. (2000) How Brains Make Up Their Minds. Columbia UP, New York.
Churchland, P. M. (2012) Plato's Camera. MIT Press, London.

A full list of the course topics and readings can be found on Learn.
Additional Information
Course URL Please see Learn page
Graduate Attributes and Skills Students will learn to conduct research across disciplinary boundaries, and to present their ideas clearly to a multi-disciplinary audience.
Additional Class Delivery Information The course is taught by Dr Alistair Isaac and Prof Till Vierkant.
Keywordsperception,action,change-blindnes,sensorimotor contingency theory,dual visual systems hypothesis
Course organiserDr Alistair Isaac
Tel: (0131 6)51 5174
Course secretaryMiss Lynsey Buchanan
Tel: (0131 6)51 5002
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