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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 Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all 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 recent work applying considerations from evolutionary biology to problems within the cognitive sciences, especially conceptual issues concerning the origin and nature of representation, language, society, and consciousness.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 22, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 174 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) One 3000 word essay (100%)
Feedback 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
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
Although specific background is not required, this is an advanced course, dealing with cutting edge research, so some familiarity with relevant background material is advised.

For relevant background in the philosophy of cognitive science, some good survey texts include:

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.

For relevant background in philosophy of biology, consult:

Godfrey-Smith, P. (2014) Philosophy of Biology. Princeton UP.

Sober, E. (1999) Philosophy of Biology. 2nd ed. Perseus.

Serelny, K. and P. E. Griffiths (1999) Sex and Death. University of Chicago Press.

Dawkins, R. (1999) The Extended Phenotype. 2nd ed. Oxford UP.

Ruse, M. (ed.) (2010) The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Biology. Oxford UP.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Students will learn to conduct research across disciplinary boundaries, and to present their ideas clearly to a multi-disciplinary audience.
Keywordsperception,action,change-blindnes,sensorimotor contingency theory,dual visual systems hypothesis
Course organiserDr Alistair Isaac
Tel: (0131 6)51 5174
Course secretaryMrs Ida Conlin
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