Phil/Psych 256: Syllabus

Course Title: Introduction to Cognitive Science (PHIL/PSYCH 256)
Instructor: Chris Eliasmith (celiasmith@uwaterloo.ca, HH 331, x2638)
Room and Time: RCH 309, TTh 11:30-12:50p
Text: Thagard, P. (2005). Mind: Introduction to cognitive science. 2nd Edition. MIT Press.
Readings: Packet available at the bookstore.
Homepage: http://watarts.uwaterloo.ca/~celiasmi/courses/Phil256/

Course Description: This is a survey course that will introduce the student to topics in cognitive science. Areas of study include representation, computation, concepts, neuroscience, visual perception, emotion, and consciousness. The readings for the course are classic papers by researchers in the relevant subdisciplines of cognitive science that supplement Paul Thagard's introductory text.

Schedule:

Date

Readings

Topic/Notes

Introduction to Cognitive Science

Jan 6

Mind, Chapter 1

Introduction

 

8

Haugeland, What is mind design?

Computation and Representation

 

Logic, Rules, and the Classical Approach

13

Mind, Chapter 2
Fodor, The language of thought (skip this)

Logic & RTM

15

Mind, Chapter 3

Rules

20

Searle, Minds, brains, and programs.

Critique

22

Searle's solution (further discussion)

 

Concepts and Images

27

Mind, Chapter 4

Concepts

29

Smith, Concepts and induction

 

Feb 3

Mind, Chapter 6

Images

5

Kosslyn, Stalking the mental image
Dennett, The nature of images and the introspective trap.

Critique

Distributed Representations and Neuroscience

10

Mind, Chapters 7 & 8

Connectionism

12

Midterm EXAM
17
READING WEEK  

24

Mind, Chapter 9

Methods of Neuroscience

26

Churchland & Sejnowski, Neurophilosophy and connectionism.

 

Mar 3

Churchland et al., A critique of pure vision.

pp. 23-28, 36-47, 49-54, 59

5

Fodor and Pylyshyn, Connectionism and the cognitive architecture (excerpts)

Critique (.pdf here)
pp. 1-20, 46-50

Challenges to Cognitive Science

10

Mind, Chapter 12

Dynamicism & Robotics
(essay assigned)

12

Brooks, Intelligence without representation.
Guest Lecture: Terry Stewart

 

17

Mind, Chapter 10

Emotion

19

Griffiths, Modularity and the psychoevolutionary theory.

 

24

Crick & Koch, Consciousness and neuroscience.

Consciousness

Future of Cognitive Science

26

Eliasmith, Moving beyond metaphors: Understanding the mind for what it is.

Future directions

31
Mind, Chapter 14 Conclusion

Apr 2

Final Test (essay due, in-class exam)

EXAM

Grading: The course requires the writing of a midterm exam (35%), daily, in-class essays (10%), a final essay (30%) and a final test (25%).

Academic Integrity: In order to maintain a culture of academic integrity, members of the University of Waterloo are expected to promote honesty, trust, fairness, respect and responsibility.

Discipline: A student is expected to know what constitutes academic integrity, to avoid committing academic offences, and to take responsibility for his/her actions. A student who is unsure whether an action constitutes an offence, or who needs help in learning how to avoid offences (e.g., plagiarism, cheating) or about “rules” for group work/collaboration should seek guidance from the course professor, academic advisor, or the Undergraduate Associate Dean. When misconduct has been found to have occurred, disciplinary penalties will be imposed under Policy 71 – Student Discipline. For information on categories of offenses and types of penalties, students should refer to Policy 71 - Student Discipline, http://www.adm.uwaterloo.ca/infosec/Policies/policy71.htm

Grievance: A student who believes that a decision affecting some aspect of his/her university life has been unfair or unreasonable may have grounds for initiating a grievance. Read Policy 70 - Student
Petitions and Grievances, Section 4, http://www.adm.uwaterloo.ca/infosec/Policies/policy70.htm

Appeals: A student may appeal the finding and/or penalty in a decision made under Policy 70 - Student Petitions and Grievances (other than regarding a petition) or Policy 71 - Student Discipline if a ground for an appeal can be established. Read Policy 72 - Student Appeals, http://www.adm.uwaterloo.ca/infosec/Policies/policy72.htm

Academic Integrity Office (UW): http://uwaterloo.ca/academicintegrity/

Accommodation for Students with Disabilities:
Note for students with disabilities: The Office for Persons with Disabilities (OPD), located in Needles Hall, Room 1132, collaborates with all academic departments to arrange appropriate accommodations for students with disabilities without compromising the academic integrity of the curriculum. If you require academic accommodations to lessen the impact of your disability, please register with the OPD at the beginning of each academic term.