The Ghost in the Machine?

Module code: G5077
Level 4
15 credits in autumn semester
Teaching method: Lecture, Seminar
Assessment modes: Coursework

What is mind? How can our view of ourselves as subjects with a mental life be reconciled with the non-mental, scientific accounts we have of our brains and bodies?

We will look at a number of different physicalist theories, concentrating on variants of the view that cognition is computation, and on neurophysiologically-based accounts of mind.

In doing so, we will examine some of the basic issues underlying cognitive science as an interdisciplinary study of the mind, taking in topics from psychology, neuroscience, linguistics, computing, artificial intelligence, robotics, evolutionary theory, biology and philosophy along the way.

Module learning outcomes

  • Describe basic philosophical and methodological problems in cognitive science.
  • Discuss the way different disciplines (eg psychology, philosophy, neuroscience, linguistics, computer science and AI, robotics, biology, etc.) collaborate and compete together over their treatment of common themes in cognitive science.
  • Express ideas, thinking and reasoning clearly and critically reflect upon their own views and prejudices.