COGS Q240 Philosophical Foundations of Cognitive Science
Fall 2014 Schedule and Syllabus
All meetings are in Read 2-120B.
Main lectures, Tu-Th 11:15-12:30
Discussion section, Fr 12:20-1:10
(Prof.) Colin Allen <firstname.lastname@example.org> Eigenmann 802 and Goodbody 113
Office hours: Thursday after class, and by appointment.
(A.I.) Branden Bryan <email@example.com>
Office hours: Tuesday immediately after class, and Friday 11 a.m.
Cognitive Science emerged about 60 years ago from developments in philosophy, computer science, psychology, and linguistics. Central to this emergence were new ideas about how minds could be understood in computational terms: the computational theory of mind. The belief that intelligence could be understood in terms of physical processing of symbolic representations served to unite artificial intelligence and cognitive psychology under a common philosophical framework, and it was believed that computers with human-level capacities would be rapidly achieved. Progress in artificial intelligence, however, has been much slower than anticipated, and developments in neuroscience, in artificial neural networks, and in dynamical and evolutionary approaches to cognition and robotics, have caused some to question whether cognitive science should remain committed to the computational theory of mind. In this course, students will learn about the original promise of the computational theory, and how it provided an alternative to earlier philosophical and scientific views about the relationship between mind and body. We will go on to consider the debate about whether evolutionary, embodied, and dynamical systems approaches to cognitive science amount to an overthrow of its traditional symbolic-representationalist core as well as providing a philosophical challenge to our deep-seated conception of ourselves as human agents with rational beliefs.
Assignments and Grading
This course is designated Intensive Writing (IW), which according to the faculty handbook means, “students must be required to write “at least 5,000 words (roughly 20 typed pages), not counting revisions (and excluding essay examinations and informal writing, e.g., journals or brief response statements). Students must receive periodic evaluations of their writing, and they must be required to redraft one or more papers in light of the instructor’s criticism. Ordinarily students will write a series of papers over the course of a semester, not one long term paper.”
There are no scheduled examinations, but there are six formal pieces of writing required, and these will be extensively workshopped during discussion sections. Discussion sections will also be used to clarify and extend the discussion of course concepts.
There is no required textbook for the course but there are roughly two required readings per week. The schedule below has links to the required readings. Some of these items may require a password for access, or be otherwise inaccessible if you are outside the campus network (try IU's VPN). [Note: local pdfs of jstor articles are provided for convenience of IU students who have fair use rights to them through the university license.]
The syllabus contains references to a text book that covers some of the course material, and is recommended reading. It is Andy Clark's Mindware 2nd Edition, Oxford Univ. Press.
|Week 1||Course Intro|
|08/26||Philosophy, Science, and the Philosophy of Science||movie shown in class|
|08/28||What is (Philosophy of) Cognitive Science?|| Paul Thagard's SEP article on "Cognitive Science" |
[Mindware Preface, Chapter 1, Appendix 1]
|08/29||IW requirements and strategies||Bring questions|
|09/02||Physical Symbols System Hypothesis|| Allen Newell & Herbert Simon (1975) "Computer science as empirical enquiry: symbols and search" |
|09/04||Chinese Room||John Searle (1980) "Minds, Brains, and Programs"|
|09/05||Brainstorm IW-1||Try out at least one of the Turing Machine simulators linked at Wikipedia and SEP.|
|09/09||A peek inside the Chinese Room: Classroom visit of Professor John Searle||Review readings from last week||7:30-9:00 p.m. first Patten lecture by John Searle "Consciousness as a problem in philosophy and neurobiology"|
|09/11||The Turing Test||Alan Turing (1950) "Computing Machinery & Intelligence".||7:30-9:00 second Patten lecture "The Logical Structure of Human Civilization"|
|09/12||Workshop IW-1||*IW-1 DUE*|
|Week 4||Dualism, or...?|
|09/16||Rationalists and Empiricists|| René Descartes (1641) Meditations 1 and 2|
David Hume (1777) Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding sections 2 and 3 (skip secs. 1, 4, and 5)
|09/18||Metaphors for Mind I: Maps and Images||Edward Tolman (1948) "Cognitive maps in rats in men") (pdf)|
Roger Shepard & Jacqueline Metzler (1971) "Mental rotation of three-dimensional objects" (pdf).
|09/19||Knowing your audience||Research age-appropriate vocabulary lists/tools for 12 yr olds.|
|09/23||Functionalism||Janet Levin's SEP entry on "Functionalism"|
|09/25||More functionalism||review SEP article|
|09/26||IW-2 Analogy Brainstorming||Bring your "2nd best" ideas|
|Week 6||Rationalism v. Empiricism Redux|
|09/30||Chomsky v. Skinner||Noam Chomsky (1959/1967) "Review of B.F. Skinner's Verbal Behavior") (pdf)|
|10/02||The Place of Folk Psychology||Daniel Dennett (1981) "True believers"|
|10/03||Workshop IW-2||*IW-2 DUE*|
|10/07||Intro to connectionism|| Jim Garson's SEP entry on "Connectionism" |
|10/09||Eliminativism||William Ramsey, Stephen Stich, & Joseph Garon (1991) "Connectionism, eliminativism, and the future of folk psychology" (pdf)|
|10/10||No class [fall break]||A day on, not a day off!|
|Week 8||Levels of Explanation|
|10/14||Marr's 3 levels||Marr (1980) selection from Vision )|
|10/17||Structuring Arguments (Logic)||CA's guide to writing philosophy papers||Monty Python's argument clinic|
|Week 9||Evolution and Mind|
|10/21||Evolution and Content||Ruth Millikan (1990) "Compare and Contrast Dretske, Fodor, and Millikan on Teleosemantics"|
|10/23||Robots||Inman Harvey et al. (2005) "Evolutionary Robotics: A new scientific tool for studying cognition" |
|10/24||Workshop papers||*IW-3 DUE*|
|Week 10||Embodied Cognition|
|10/28||More robots||Rodney Brooks (1991) "Intelligence without representation"[Mindware 5,6]|
|10/30||Embodiment||Andy Clark (1998) "Embodiment and the Philosophy of Mind"|
|Week 11||Dynamical Systems|
|11/04||Dynamical Systems||Beer (2000) "Dynamical approaches to cognitive science" |
|Week 12||Mind Beyond Body|
|11/11||Dynamical Philosophy||Timothy van Gelder (1995) "What might cognition be if not computation?")|
|11/13||Extended Mind||Andy Clark and David Chalmers (1998) "The Extended Mind" [Mindware 8]|
|11/14||Workshop IW-4||*IW-4 DUE*|
|Thanksgiving Week||No classes||Gobble, gobble -- but don't eat too much!|
|Week 14||Charting the Revolution|
|12/02||Group Mind||Georg Theiner, Colin Allen and Rob Goldstone (2010) "Recognizing Group Cognition".|
|12/04||Philosophy of Cognitive Science vs. Philosophy of Mind||Tony Chemero and Michael Silberstein (2008) "After philosophy of mind: replacing scholasticism with science"|
|12/05||Workshop IW-5||*IW-5 DUE*|
|12/09||The conservative view||EITHER: Rob Rupert (2013) "Memory, natural kinds, and cognitive extension; or, Martians don't remember, and cognitive science is not about cognition" |
OR: Rupert (forthcoming) "Against group cognitive states"
|12/12||Workshop IW-6||Bring paper drafts|
|Week 16||Finals Week||No classes|
IW Assignments From the faculty handbook: “For a course to qualify for IW credit, students must be required to write at least 5,000 words (roughly 20 typed pages), not counting revisions (and excluding essay examinations and informal writing, e.g., journals or brief response statements). Students must receive periodic evaluations of their writing, and they must be required to redraft one or more papers in light of the instructor’s criticism. Ordinarily students will write a series of papers over the course of a semester, not one long term paper.”
Writing Tutorial Services
For free help at any phase of the writing process—from brainstorming to polishing the final draft—call Writing Tutorial Services (WTS, pronounced “wits”) at 855-6738 for an appointment. When you visit WTS, you’ll find a tutor who is a sympathetic and helpful reader of your prose. To be assured of an appointment with the tutor who will know most about your class, please call in advance. WTS, in the Information Commons on the first floor of the Wells Library, is open Monday- Thursday 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. and Friday 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Walk-in tutorials are available when WTS has an opening, but the appointment book often fills in advance. WTS tutors are also available for walk-in tutorials (only) in the Academic Support Centers in Briscoe, Forest, and Teter residence halls, open Sunday-Thursday 7:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.
Statement for Students with Disabilities
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. If you believe you have a disability requiring an accommodation, please contact IU Disability Services for Students.
Statement about Academic Misconduct
University rules concerning academic misconduct will be rigorously enforced in this class. See Section G of the IU Code of Student Rights, Responsibilities and Conduct for details.