Postgraduate Course: Philosophy of Mind and Cognitive Science (Online) (PHIL11130)
|School||School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences
||College||College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
|Course type||Online Distance Learning
||Availability||Available to all students
|Summary||This course examines how the mind fits into the physical world. This is one of the central issues in contemporary philosophy of mind and cognitive science, and we will address it by examining some of the following questions:
- How do our everyday explanations of behaviour, e.g., Asha walked to the shops because she needed to buy bread, relate to neurological explanations of that same behaviour, e.g., Asha walked to the shops because of activity in her motor cortex?
- Does the mind work like a computer?
- Where is my mind? Is it in the head or can it extend beyond my skull and into the world?
- What is innate knowledge, and do we have any?
- What is the nature of introspection?
These issues bring together traditional concerns from the philosophy of mind and findings from psychology and neuroscience, and we will draw on a variety of sources in exploring possible answers to these questions.
This course will be delivered through a combination of pre-recorded lectures, live online seminars, and online discussion forums. Pre-recorded lectures will be delivered by a range of faculty. All live online seminars will be delivered by Dr. Elmarie Venter. Please direct any queries regarding any segment of the course to the course organiser.
Synchronous online seminars will be held fortnightly at a time to be announced. In asynchronous forum weeks, Dr. Venter will monitor forum discussions.
Personal and sub-personal explanations
Week 1: Introduction and levels of explanation
Week 2: Non-reductive materialism (synchronous seminar)
Week 3: Eliminative materialism
Week 4: Mechanistic explanations (synchronous seminar)
Week 5: The language of thought hypothesis
Week 6: Tacit theories (synchronous seminar)
Week 7: The extended mind
Week 8: The modular mind (synchronous seminar)
Week 9: The embodied mind
Week 10: Against the computational mind (synchronous seminar)
Week 11: Review
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
||Other requirements|| None
Information for Visiting Students
|High Demand Course?
Course Delivery Information
|Academic year 2021/22, Available to all students (SV1)
|Course Start Date
|Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info)
Lecture Hours 22,
Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4,
Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours
|Assessment (Further Info)
|Additional Information (Assessment)
||This course has two components of assessment:
Students will be assessed by a mid-term 2000 word essay (25%) and a 3000 word essay at the end of the semester (75%).
Participation in the discussion forum (in terms of writing discussion notes and commenting on others¿ notes) is not assessed as such. However, failure to contribute posts each week during the semester will result in marks of up to 5% being deducted from your overall grade.
||Students have the opportunity to submit a formative essay. The essay cannot be draft of the summative essay but it can be on the same topic.
|No Exam Information
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- grasp fundamental issues in the philosophy of mind and cognitive science, e.g. non-reductive materialism, eliminative materialism, varieties of functionalism, the extended mind hypothesis, tacit theories, nativism.
- critically analyse and engage with literature by key philosophers in this field.
- understand how empirical work can support philosophical arguments, and be able to use empirical data in their essays and arguments.
- present arguments clearly and concisely both within a classroom context and in a 2,500 word essay.
- gain transferable skills in research, analysis and argumentation
|Available online: |
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
||Students can develop their ability for independent learning through online resources.
|Keywords||philosophy of mind,cognitive science
|Course organiser||Dr Elmarie Venter
|Course secretary||Miss Sabina Ali
Tel: (0131 6) 50 4400