Philosophical Foundations of Cognitive Science

Module code: C8808
Level 5
15 credits in autumn semester
Teaching method: Seminar
Assessment modes: Coursework, Unseen examination

This module examines various materialist conceptions of the mind, especially the functionalist vision of the mind as a kind of computer program running in the brain. Symbolic and connectionist versions of this view are described and compared. The complex issues surrounding the scientific explanation of consciousness and experience are discussed.

Module learning outcomes

  • Describe the way(s) in which cognitive science aims to integrate the mind into the natural world.
  • Critically discuss the relative merits of representational and non-representational accounts of cognition.
  • Synthesise arguments for, and counterarguments to, the elimination of the propositional attitudes from a science of the mind.
  • Explain the relative merits of symbolic and sub-symbolic accounts of cognition.