Cognitive Science | Philosophical Foundations of Cognitive Science
Q240 | 15389 | K. Stotz

Q240,  15389

IU COGS Q240 Philosophical Foundations of Cognitive Science
Fall 2006

Instructor: Karola Stotz
Assistant Instructor: Grant Goodrich ??

Lecture: Monday 2:30-3:45 and Wednesday 2:30 – 3:45
Discussion: Friday 10:10-12:05
Office hours: Wednesday 4:00-5:00, Eigenmann 821
Contact info: 855-6397

There is no textbook for the course but there are roughly two
required readings per week, which will be listed ahead of time on
the website for the course under ‘reading schedule’.

Subject Matter
Cognitive Science emerged around 50 years ago from developments in
philosophy, computer science, psychology, neuroscience, linguistics
and anthropology. Central to this emergence were new ideas about how
the notion of mental representation could be understood in
computational terms: the computational or representational theory of
mind. The belief that intelligence could be understood in terms of
physical symbol processing 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, in dynamical, evolutionary, situated
and embodied approaches to cognition and robotics, have caused some
to question whether cognitive science should remain committed to the
notion of mental representation. In this course, students will learn
about the original promise of the computational theory of mind, 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 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
There are no scheduled examinations for Q240 students, but there are
eight (8) writing assignments (roughly one every two weeks). Details
will be provided in the Intensive Writing (IW) schedule.

Late submissions are unacceptable and will incur a grade penalty
because several of the IW sessions will involve discussion of
completed work. The writing assignments are tightly integrated with
the main lecture content, so attendance at all three meetings each
week is important. Occasional pop quizzes on readings may be used to
determine attendance and participation. 80% of the course grade is
based on the written assignments, 10% is for participation in
discussions during main lecture and 10% for participation during
discussion sections.

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 IU Code of Ethics, Part II for details.