PHIL 2230

Dr. Kelly Inglis

First Semester 2007-08

Tuesdays 4:00-5:50

Course objective: This is an introductory course to the philosophy of cognitive science, i.e. the philosophical issues that pertain to the scientific study of the mind.


(October 25) Further recommended readings about connectionism have been posted below (with the power point files).


(October 24) Remember to submit your paper (soft copy) to by Thursday night, as well as to Loletta (hard copy) at the Philosophy Office by 3 p.m. The class ID for is: 2061558 (not PHIL 2230, as said in class), and the password is “cogsci”.

(Sept. 14): Two lectures have been swopped around and the schedule below has been updated. Thus, I will now be discussing the Language of Thought Hypothesis on Sept. 25th, and Folk Psychology, Eliminativism and Instrumentalism on Oct. 2nd.

Also, some new optional readings, on both the Chinese Room Thought Experiment and on modularity of the mind, have been added to the end of the powerpoint for Lecture 2.

Course Schedule:


September 4: What is Cognitive Science? What is the role of Philosophy in Cognitive Science? The Mind-Body Problem. Dualism, Materialism, Functionalism. The Mind-Mind Problem.

September 11: An Attack on Functionalism: The Chinese Room. Responses to the Chinese Room.


September 18: Is the brain like a computer? Levels of Description. Classic AI. Intentionality. Mental Representations. Mental Modules.

September 25: The Language of Thought Hypothesis.

October 2: Folk Psychology and Eliminativism. Instrumentalism.

October 9: Midterm Quiz

October 16: Reading Week

October 23: Connectionism.

October 30: Connectionism vs. Language of Thought. Connectionism vs. Modularity of Mind.


November 6: Consciousness: the Hard Problem. Concepts of Consciousness.

November 13: An Attack on Physicalist Theories of Consciousness: the Knowledge Argument. Responses to the Knowledge Argument.

November 20: Is all thinking unconscious? Support for this view from neuroscience and psychology.

November 27: Free Will. Does a cognitive science approach to the mind imply that there is no free will?


Assessment will be through one midterm quiz (25%), one short paper (25%) and one long paper (40%) and tutorial performance (10%). There will be 4 one-hour tutorials. Sign-up sheets will be posted later.

Office Hours: My office is in the Philosophy Department, Room 306. I will usually be available to discuss issues with students after class, and I will be available for consultations in my office by appointment. Please email me at: with any questions, or for an appointment.

Lecture Notes (powerpoint files)

Lecture 1
Lecture 2
Lecture 3
Lecture 4
Lecture 5

Midterm Questions

Topic for 1st Paper

Readings for Connectionism Lecture

Lecture 6

Further Recommended Readings about Connectionism

Lecture 7

Lecture 8

Lecture 9

Lecture 10

Lecture 11

Topics for 2nd Paper

Philosophy and Cognitive Science

August 30, 2007 by kellyinglis


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: