Psychology | Evolution & Ecology of Learning
P416 | 3837 | Timberlake, W
This course will explore how different kinds of knowledge systems are
assembled to produce the modules of mind that characterize human and
nonhuman animals. We will take a hierarchical “Kinds of Minds”
approach (after Dennett) in exploring the functions that allow the
levels of mind to do their work. The aim is to identify mechanisms
and concepts that connect and integrate ideas about mind, from
philosophical and evolutionary foundations, through neurological
mechanisms, to experiential phenomena. Readings will be drawn from
an integrative book that G. A. Lucas is writing, “How Mind Emerges,”
plus relevant papers in each topic area.
Topics to be explored:
1. Intentionality, Representation, and Meaning.
2. Evolution and Knower Systems
5. Consciousness in Humans
6. Consciousness in other Animals
The present approach to the study of mind focuses on connecting ideas
of several modern theorists into a more inclusive picture by placing
them in an adaptive, evolutionary context. The scope of the material
should be appealing to students of mind from philosophy and cognitive
science, through biology, anthropology, and psychology, to AI and
robotics. A willingness to explore the adjacent possible and to
participate in class discussions is important.
Students will be expected to attend class, do weekly readings,
provide short comments on them, and participate in discussions. In
addition each student will help present and lead a discussion on
material in one or two topic areas, and will write a final 15-20 page
paper on one of the topics.