Philosophy of Cognitive Sciences
Ahti (Da Long) Pietarinen
Xiamen University, Department of Philosophy
Place: Room 214, Nanguang Building 1#, 19:00-21:30
Synopsis: This is a short introductory course to the main topics and questions in the cognitive sciences from the philosophical points of view. Cognitive sciences are a bunch of contemporary interdisciplinary research areas, topics and methods, involving insights from the philosophy of mind, psychology, artificial intelligence, computer sciences, linguistics, neurosciences, anthropology and education.
Among the questions addressed during the classes are: What is a cognitive system and how does it work? What is the relation between mind and brain? Is mind a computer? Is mind modular? What is information? What is information processing, representation and computation? What is memory? What is perception? What is consciousness and why is it a philosophical problem? Is human behavior and action rational or irrational? What are the usual errors and biases in human thinking and reasoning?
The class schedule and examples of the topics to be discussed:
16 November: INTRODUCTION. Main areas of research and key concepts and methods of cognitive sciences and philosophy.
22 November: MIND. Key questions from the philosophy of mind: Mind and soul; Mind and brain; Mind and machine. The Extended mind.
23 November: COGNITION. Cognitive architectures. Cognitive neurosciences. Philosophical problems of brain imaging methods.
29 November: COMPUTATION. Cognitive Science and Artificial Intelligence. Computer Sciences and Information Processing. Modelling and simulation.
30 November: THINKING, ACTING, REASONING. Human action and decision-making. Cognitive biases and errors in reasoning.