AP/PHIL2160 3.0 M: Minds, Brains and Machines

Offered by: PHIL

(Cross-listed to: AP/COGS2160 3.0M )


Summer 2019






Calendar Description / Prerequisite / Co-Requisite

An introduction to the study of human cognition and the interdisciplinary field of cognitive science. Questions covered include: What is artificial intelligence? Is it possible that we will someday build computers that think? Does language affect thought? Do we think in language or pictures? How is conscious experience related to the brain?

Course Website

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    Additional Course Instructor/Contact Details

Professor Verena Gottschling


Office Location:  S436 Ross Building

Phone Number:  (416) 736-2100 Ext. 77553

Office Hours:  Wednesdays 1:30 – 2:30

    Expanded Course Description

What is thinking and intelligence? What is the mind ad how is it related to the brain? And what does either of them have to do with Artificial Intelligence in machines? This is an inter-disciplinary course that is designed to familiarize you with the central questions, topics, debates, methods, and techniques involved in studying cognition and the mind. The new area of research that studies the mind and mental processes is known as cognitive science, and it combines various disciplines,

including Philosophy, Psychology, Linguistics, Neuroscience, and Artificial Intelligence.


This course is an introduction to Cognitive Science. You will learn about the many productive interactions among these different disciplines we have witnessed in the past several decades: many interesting results, as well as a number of open questions and stimulating controversies.

    Required Course Text / Readings

Jose Luis Bermudez, Cognitive Science: An Introduction to the Science of the Mind (1st Edition), Cambridge University Press.

This edition of the textbook is freely available from the library website (Scott Library) and can be downloaded there. In addition several papers, available online at the library

    Weighting of Course

Final essay                                                                               35%

Midterm                                                                           25%

Papers                                                                                      30%

Participation                                                                     10%

Penalties of missed assignments are left to my discretion.

    Organization of the Course

Lecture and class discussion

    Course Learning Objectives

The specific objectives of the course are that students will be able to:


  • Develop some overview about different views how Cognitive Science research is done in the different disciplines
  • Learn about some of the main topics and debates in the field
  • Provide knowledge about the recent debates regarding the relationship between theoretical foundations in Cognitive Science disciplines
    Relevant Links / Resources