Cognitive Science | Philosophical Foundations of Cognitive & Information Science
Q240 | 3564 | Demir

Lecture: 2:30-3:45, TR, SY 103
Discussion: 10:10-12:05, F, FR C238

Cognitive Science as an independent discipline emerged as a result
of interactions among many different fields such as philosophy,
psychology, linguistics and computer science. There was only one
question that brought all these different disciplines
together: ‘what is the structure of the human mind?’

In this course, we will try to understand the foundations of this
relatively new field. This requires two different paths: one
historical and one problem oriented. Our journey on the former path
will include a quick survey of the history of philosophy,
psychology, computer science, and linguistics with respect to their
contribution to Cognitive Science. The latter path will take us to
the following topics: i) materialist conceptions of mind, especially
functionalist view of mind as a kind of computer running in the
brain ii) consciousness and subjective experience iii) the relations
between patterns, contents and mental causes iv) perception, action
and the brain v) robotics, artificial life and situated reason vi)
the continuity of life and mind.

Following the precious principle of ‘life ain’t nothing without
movies’, we will show two movies during the semester: ‘Breaking the
Code: Alan Turing’s Life’ and ‘Memento’.

The course grade will be determined on the basis of two short papers
(3-5 pages), one midterm, one final paper (8-10 pages) and

We will be using two main textbooks together with some articles. The
articles will be made available on E-reserve. The textbooks, ‘The
Mind’s New Science’ by Howard Garner and ‘Mindware’ by Andy Clark,
will be available at the bookstore.