Topic 1: The History of Cognitive Science

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Lecture 1: An introduction to the history of Cognitive Science, in which we acknowledge the difficulty of defining key terms of mind, behaviour, etc., and we take a quick look at the influence of Rene Descartes, who landed us with a philosophical problem we have not overcome in 350 years.

Lecture 2: The history of the philosophy of mind and of the scientific discipline of psychology

Lecture 3: More on the history of scientific psychology

Reading: Two papers are provided, which make very different assumptions about what minds might be and how they relate to brains.

The first is from one of the fathers of old school artificial intelligence, Marvin Minsky, who suggests that Minds are simply what brains do. Truth Journal, online journal. This is one representative of the computational theory of mind.

The second paper by Louise Barrett provides a very different account from an embodied point of view: Barrett, L. (2016). Why brains are not computers, why behaviorism is not satanism, and why dolphins are not aquatic apes. The Behavior Analyst, 39(1), 9-23.