School of Engineering and Informatics (for staff and students)

Topics in the Philosophy of COGS (G5122)

Topics in the Philosophy of Cognitive Science

Module G5122

Module details for 2012/13.

15 credits

FHEQ Level 6

Module Outline

This module examines various philosophical foundational issues in cognitive science by focussing on the nature and role of computation and representation in cognitive scientific explanations. In particular, the module asks the question: can our everyday way of understanding the mind, in terms of beliefs, desires and intentions, serve as a foundation for a scientific understanding of mind? The module then analyses various answers that have been given to this question.


Rather than a set text, students will read a selection of chapters and articles, such as:
Bermudez, Jose Luis (2003). Ascribing thoughts to non-linguistic creatures. Facta
Philosophica 5 (2):313-34 Gamez, David (2007) Progress in Machine Consciousness. Consciousness and
Cognition Volume 17, Issue 3, September 2008, Pages 887-910.
M. A. Boden (forthcoming) "Creativity and Artificial Evolution". In J. Copeland
and R. Brooks (Eds.) Creativity, Mathematics, and Computers (provisional title),
Templeton Press/MIT Press.

Module learning outcomes

Demonstrate an understanding of the way(s) in which cognitive science aims to integrate the mind into the natural world

Demonstrate an understanding of the relative merits of representational and non-representational accounts of cognition.

Demonstrate knowledge of arguments for, and counterarguments to, the elimination of the propositional attitudes from a science of the mind.

Demonstrate an understanding of the relative merits of symbolic and sub-symbolic accounts of cognition.

Coursework components. Weighted as shown below.
PresentationT1 Week 12 34.00%
EssayT1 Week 12 66.00%
Unseen ExaminationMid Year Assessment70.00%

Submission deadlines may vary for different types of assignment/groups of students.


Coursework components (if listed) total 100% of the overall coursework weighting value.

TermMethodDurationWeek pattern
Autumn TeachingSEMINAR2 hours111111111111

How to read the week pattern

The numbers indicate the weeks of the term and how many events take place each week.

Dr Ron Chrisley

Assess convenor

Please note that the University will use all reasonable endeavours to deliver courses and modules in accordance with the descriptions set out here. However, the University keeps its courses and modules under review with the aim of enhancing quality. Some changes may therefore be made to the form or content of courses or modules shown as part of the normal process of curriculum management.

The University reserves the right to make changes to the contents or methods of delivery of, or to discontinue, merge or combine modules, if such action is reasonably considered necessary by the University. If there are not sufficient student numbers to make a module viable, the University reserves the right to cancel such a module. If the University withdraws or discontinues a module, it will use its reasonable endeavours to provide a suitable alternative module.

School of Engineering and Informatics (for staff and students)

School Office:
School of Engineering and Informatics, University of Sussex, Chichester 1 Room 002, Falmer, Brighton, BN1 9QJ
T 01273 (67) 8195

School Office opening hours: Monday - Friday 09.00 - 17.00
School Office location [PDF 1.74MB]