Philosophical Foundations of Cognitive Science (C8808)

15 credits, Level 5

Autumn teaching

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.


50%: Lecture
50%: Seminar


30%: Coursework (Essay)
70%: Examination (Computer-based examination)

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 150 hours of work. This breaks down into about 22 hours of contact time and about 128 hours of independent study. The University may make minor variations to the contact hours for operational reasons, including timetabling requirements.

We regularly review our modules to incorporate student feedback, staff expertise, as well as the latest research and teaching methodology. We’re planning to run these modules in the academic year 2024/25. However, there may be changes to these modules in response to feedback, staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let you know of any material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.


This module is offered on the following courses: