Cognitive Science | Seminar in Cognitive Science
Q700 | 22864 | --

Cognitive Science ,  Seminar in Cognitive Science
Q700 ,  22864 ,  Hofstadter
2:30-3:45, TR, CRCC, 510 N. Fess

Topic:  Errors, Words, Wit, and Creativity

A seminar by Prof. Douglas Hofstadter
Fall 2005

We will begin by looking at a large variety of errors committed by
humans while speaking, writing, listening, and performing actions,
and we will study some models of error-making.  We will pay
particular attention to speech errors, and will look at what they
imply about the hidden mechanisms of word choice in real time.  This
will naturally carry us into the territory of the mental lexicon,
which in turn will lead us to examining categories (or concepts),
and in particular to the question of how categories come into
existence and continue to grow over time, all thanks to the making
of rapid and unconscious analogies.  We will talk about some models
of analogy-making.  We will also look at how individual concepts
grow and refine themselves over time, and how new concepts are built
as compounds of old ones.  A related question that we will explore
is how some people semi-consciously make use of unconscious
mechanisms in order to come up with clever quips (puns, bon mots,
witticisms) in real time.  Finally, we will exploit many of these
ideas in theorizing about how certain people have the gift of
reliably discovering important and subtle ideas hidden in abstract
haystacks (a faculty more commonly known as ³creativity²), and we
will broach the thorny issue of whether works of science,
literature, and art are created or discovered.

For Additional information, please contact Helga Keller at 855-
6965/  The course materials will made available
at CRCC.  The course will be taught at CRCC, 510 North Fess Street.