Introduction to Cognitive Science

Cognitive science is usually taught at graduate level. There are few undergraduate courses, making it difficult for the curious to find out about the field. While there are some introductory textbooks, I have not found any that is satisfactory. Cognitive science is a massively interdisciplinary undertaking. Its basic is question asks “What is it to know something.” This question is relevant to philosophers, psychologists, neuroscientists, humanists of many stripes, anthropologists, linguists, and plain old folk.

No simple answer will suffice here, and the many partial answers we have must all make assumptions about who the knower is, and what it is to know. There are many bold claims in the scientific literature, and even more in the popular press, but they do not add up to a single coherent account of who we are, how we know anything, or how the fundamental question of knowing should be addressed.

I am collecting resources here that come from an undergraduate module taught (in 2020) at University College Dublin. The course was initially delivered in face to face lectures, each about 40 minutes long. From Topic 7 on, the ongoing problem of a virus pandemic meant that material was presented in a series of shorter videos.

Topic 1: The History of Cognitive Science

Topic 2: Language and Languaging

Topic 3: Human development

Topic 4: Perception

Topic 5: Reasoning

Topic 6: Representation

Topic 7: Brains

Topic 8: Social cognition

Topic 9: Movement

Topic 10: Consciousness

If you find these lectures and associated material useful, please let me know. If you spot errors, either in production (e.g. sound problems) or in content, likewise let me know. I can be reached at