PHIL496-21T4 (C) Term Four 2021

Cognitive Science

This occurrence is not offered in 2021

30 points

Start Date: Monday, 6 September 2021
End Date: Sunday, 7 November 2021
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Sunday, 19 September 2021
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Friday, 22 October 2021


This course addresses philosophical themes in cognitive science. Cognitive scientists are philosophers, psychologists, neuroscientists, and computer scientists along with researchers from other disciplines. Questions we discuss are drawn from across these diverse areas. The central focus of this course consists of the philosophical concerns and challenges preseneted by the discoveries and methods of investigation used in cognitive science.

PHIL496 Cognitive Science will be taught by Professor Oron Shagrir, Schulman Chair of Philosophy and Cognitive Science at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. The course is a compressed course in term 4, with 2 2-hour lectures.

The relations between minds and computing machines have intrigued scientists and philosophers since Descartes and Leibnitz. But they have become a central subject of philosophical investigation since the 1930s, with the work of Alan Turing on computability and on Artificial Intelligence. The view that the mind/brain is an information-processing computing system is now dominating many fields in Psychology, Cognitive Science, Computer Science, and Neuroscience. But this view invites further questions: Can we have intelligent conscious computers? Are brains or minds really computers? And, if yes, then of which sort: Are they digital computers or something perhaps far more complex? And what are computers anyway? This Honours class will explore these and other themes while discussing more recent developments in neural networks and AI and in computational complexity.

Learning Outcomes

University Graduate Attributes

This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attributes specified below:

Critically competent in a core academic discipline of their award

Students know and can critically evaluate and, where applicable, apply this knowledge to topics/issues within their majoring subject.


Subject to approval of the Head of Department.

Course Coordinator

For further information see Humanities and Creative Arts Head of Department

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $1,905.00

* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, and do not include any programme level discount or additional course-related expenses.

For further information see Humanities and Creative Arts .

All PHIL496 Occurrences

  • PHIL496-21T4 (C) Term Four 2021 - Not Offered