Philosophy 256 / Psychology 256

Introduction to Cognitive Science, FALL, 2007

Professor: Paul Thagard

Office hours (HH368): Monday, Friday, 1-2; and by appointment.

Email: Phone: 888-4567, extension 33594.

Web page:

Time: T, TH, 1:00 - 2:20, PAS 2083.

Textbooks: P. Thagard, Mind: Introduction to Cognitive Science, 2nd edition.P. Thagard, ed., Mind Readings: Introductory Selections in Cognitive Science.

Assignments: Marks will be based on:

Description: Cognitive science is the interdisciplinary study of mind and intelligence, operating at the intersection of psychology, philosophy, computer science, linguistics, anthropology, and neuroscience. This course will describe the different methodologies and theoretical contributions of these disciplines to questions such as mental representation, the nature of expertise, and consciousness. It will focus on a fundamental question in cognitive science research: What kinds of representations must be postulated to explain human intelligence or to develop computer intelligence? Is a scientific understanding of mind possible? This course is truly interdisciplinary and students are advised that it is not like conventional philosophy or psychology courses. No prerequisite.


 Week  Dates  Topic  Mind, ch.  Mind Readings
 1 Sept. 11-13  Representation and computation  1  1
 2  Sept. 18-20  Logic  2  2
 3 Sept. 25-27  Rules  3  3-4
  4 Oct.. 2-4 Concepts,EXAM 1 4 5
 5  Oct. 9-11 Analogies  5  6
 6  Oct. 16-18  Images  6  7
 7 Oct. 23-25  Connections  7  8

Oct. 30-Nov. 1

 Connections, EXAM 2  8  
  9 Nov. 6-8   Brains, Emotions 9-10   9
 10  Nov. 13-15 Consciousness,  ESSAY  11-12  10-11
 11 Nov. 20-22 Environments Dynamic systems  12-13 12-13
 12 Nov. 27-29 Future of cognitive science, EXAM 3  14  

This class is a core course for the Cognitive Science Option.

Cognitive Science Glossary

Cognitive Science Resources

Lecture notes

Note: These will be revised as the course goes on with the addition of more information and links.Updated pages for each week will usually be available by Monday evening. Updated notes are indicated by "FALL, 2007". If you want to print out notes with smaller letters, you can Edit the Preferences in your Web browser to change the font size.

Week 1: Representation and computation. FALL 2007

Week 2: Logic FALL 2007.

Week 3: Rules. FALL 2007

Week 4: Concepts. FALL 2007

Week 5: Analogies FALL 2007.

Week 6: Images. FALL 2007.

Weeks 7-8: Connections (neural networks) FALL 2007.

Week 9: Brains and emotions. FALL 2007

Week 10: Consciousness and world challenges. FALL 2007.

Week 11: Dynamic systems and the social challenge. FALL 2007.

Week 12: Future of cognitive science. FALL 2007.

From the Faculty of Arts:

All students registered in the courses of the Faculty of Arts are expected to know what constitutes academic integrity, to avoid committing academic offences, and to take responsibility for their actions. When the commission of an offence is established, disciplinary penalties will be imposed in accord with Policy #71 (Student Academic Discipline). For information on categories of offences and types of penalties, students are directed to consult the summary of Policy #71 which is supplied in the Undergraduate Calendar (section 1; on the Web at If you need help in learning what constitutes an academic offence; how to avoid offences such as plagiarism, cheating, and double submission; how to follow appropriate rules with respect to “group work” and collaboration; or if you need clarification of aspects of the discipline policy, ask your TA and/or your course instructor for guidance. Other resources regarding the discipline policy are your academic advisor and the Undergraduate Associate Dean. Students who believe that they have been wrongfully or unjustly penalized have the right to grieve; refer to Policy #70, Student Grievance,”

Faculty of Arts information on plagiarism and other offences.

Computational Epistemology Laboratory.

Paul Thagard

This page updated Nov. 26, 2007