This course covers a broad range of issues at the intersection of philosophy and cognitive science. Topics will include:
- Mental architecture and mental representation — Is the mind a computer, and if so what kind of computer is it? How do minds represent the world?
- Rationality — What are the standards by which we can evaluate reasoning and decision-making? How do humans measure up by these standards?
- Innateness — What does it mean to say a mental trait is innate? What are the relative roles of innate versus environmental factors in shaping our minds? What are some conceptual challenges that arise in answering questions such as these?
- Emotions — What distinguishes emotions from other mental states and one emotion from another? In what ways do emotions contribute to or detract from rational decision-making and action?
- Consciousness — What are some different senses of the term 'consciousness'? How can we make scientific progress in understanding the brain-basis of conscious experience?