Phil/Psych 447 Phil 673

Seminar in Cognitive Science: Cognition and Social Change


Hand in at the beginning of class, maximum 1 page.

Assignment 1. Sept. 29.

Do a 3-analysis of some important concept relevant to social change.

See Mind-Society for examples. Include at least 4 exemplars, 4 typical features, and 3 explanation targets.

Assignment 2. Oct. 13.

Pick an important controversy relevant to social change, and do a value map of 2 conflicting positions.

Include at least 10 nodes in each, positive and negative, with both solid and dotted links.

Draw by hand, use any software such as Word, or use Empathica.

Assignment 3. Oct. 27.

Prepare a sketch of a social cognitive-emotional workup of some important kind of social change. See the end of Mind-Society ch. 3 for a template.

Your SCEW should include examples of concepts, values, beliefs, rules, analogies/metaphors, and emotions, as well as brief descriptions of relevant inferences and communications.

The result should be no more that 1-page, double spaced, around 300 words.

Assignment 4. Nov. 10 (corrected). 5 marks for the essay proposal, and 5 marks for presenting in class.

Propose an essay topic concerned with cognition and social change. Indicate what questions you want to try to answer and what ideas and methods (psychological, philosophical, etc.) that you hope to use to answer them.

Give an outline of the structure of the essay.

The result should be no more that 1-page, double spaced, around 300 words.

Possible topics:

  1. Generate and evaluate a social cognitive-emotional workup of an important social change.
  2. Use alternative psychological or sociological means to explain an important social change and argue for why they are better than semantic pointers.
  3. Discuss an important philosophical issue concerned with cognition and social change, e.g. (a) rationality and emotion, (b) the person-group problem (c) collective intentionality (d) group rationality (e) social facts.

Phil/Psych 447

Paul Thagard

Computational Epistemology Laboratory.

This page updated Nov. 4, 2015