AP/PHIL4082 3.0 M: Philosophy of Cognitive Science
ONLN (Fully Online)
Calendar Description / Prerequisite / Co-Requisite
An examination of philosophical issues at the foundations of cognitive science, such as: mental representation, perception, concepts, rationality, memory, intelligence, modularity, evolutionary psychology, extended and embodied cognition, and consciousness. Prerequisite: At least nine credits in AP/PHIL courses, including at least three credits from the following: AP/PHIL 3260 3.00 or AP/PHIL 3265 3.00.
Course Start Up
Course Websites hosted on York's "eClass" are accessible to students during the first week of the term. It takes two business days from the time of your enrolment to access your course website. Course materials begin to be released on the course website during the first week. To log in to your eClass course visit the York U eClass Portal and login with your Student Passport York Account. If you are creating and participating in Zoom meetings you may also go directly to the York U Zoom Portal.
For further course Start Up details, review the Next Steps webpage.
For IT support, students may contact University Information Technology Client Services via firstname.lastname@example.org or (416) 736-5800. Please also visit Students Getting Started UIT or the Getting Help - UIT webpages.
Professor David Jopling
Office Location: S435 Ross
Phone Number: (416) 736-2100 Ext. 77588
Virtual office hours by email exchanges Monday to Friday, or by zoom audio meeting (not video) one hour per week; or by phone. Time and day TBA.
Most species of animals are well adapted to their environments without also being highly intelligent. Humans are both. How did it get this way? What cognitive changes happened over the course of the last 2 million years, when the new genus Homo first appeared; and what cognitive changes happened over the last 200,000 years, when humans started to become anatomically and behaviourally modern? In this course we will examine several recent accounts of the origin and evolution of human cognition, as developed by a number of prominent evolutionary anthropologists, cognitive scientists, philosophers, and paleo-anthropologists.
Technical requirements for taking the course:
You will need a computer (or tablet) and an internet connection. There is no video conferencing in this course. Office hours will be held once weekly via zoom, using zoom audio only; or by email exchange; or by phone.
Here are some useful links for student computing information, resources and help:
To determine Internet connection and speed, there are online tests, such as Speedtest, that can be run.]
Times and locations:
The entire course, including the submission of assignments and posts to the discussion forum, will take place on the course’s e-class site. Lectures will be pre-recorded and posted to the e-class site at the start of each week. This course has no live virtual meetings, except for office hours. Like an online course, you can learn the course material at your own pace, following the schedule of readings and activities, and synchronizing them to the quiz and essay dates, which are fixed. There will be no in-person interactions or activities on campus.
There is no course textbook. All readings are available online, and links to them are posted on the moodle site for the course. Readings by Darwin, Mayr, Tomasello, Boesch, Sterelny, Richerson and Boyd, Gould, Tattersall, Pinker, Cosmides and Tooby, Henrich, Mithen, Dunbar, Wrangham, Hrdy, and Whiten.
Two essays (40% each), one midway through the course and one at the end; and two quizzes (10% each), one midway through the course and one at the end. Dates TBA.
The course is asynchronous. You can complete the readings at your own pace, and post comments on the e-class discussion forum for each of the topics at any time. Lectures that cover the readings will be posted to the website each week. Midway through the course, and then at the end of the course, there will be an online quiz, the times and dates for which are fixed.
After completing this course, students will be able to:
- a) describe, explain, and critically evaluate a number of contemporary scientific approaches to the origin and evolution of human cognition;
- b) critically evaluate the philosophical implications and problems associated with these approaches;
- c) understand and explain the relevance and importance of the origin and evolution of human cognition to contemporary cognitive science and philosophy.
- All audio recordings should be used for educational purposes only and as a means
for enhancing accessibility.
- Students do not have permission to duplicate, copy and/or distribute the recordings outside of the class (these acts can violate not only copyright laws but also FIPPA.
- All recordings will be destroyed after the end of the course.
- Please hand in all assignments on time. Extensions are allowed in the event of illness, bereavement, disabilities, or special needs. Work that is submitted late and that falls outside these conditions will incur a late penalty of 2% per day. Students with disabilities automatically receive extensions.
- Please refer to Senate Policy on Academic Honesty: http://www.yorku.ca/secretariat/legislation/senate/acadhone.htm.
- Please refer to The Academic Integrity Tutorial at: http://www.yorku.ca/tutorial/academic_integrity/
- Academic Honesty
- Student Rights and Responsibilities
- Religious Observance
- Grading Scheme and Feedback
- 20% Rule
No examinations or tests collectively worth more than 20% of the final grade in a course will be given during the final 14 calendar days of classes in a term. The exceptions to the rule are classes which regularly meet Friday evenings or on Saturday and/or Sunday at any time, and courses offered in the compressed summer terms.
- Academic Accommodation for Students with Disabilities