FA23 PHIL483/583

Philosophical Psychology (PHIL483/583)
Dr. Charles Wallis

Mondays & Wednesdays  ·  12:30pm–1:45pm  ·  LA5–149

This course takes a historical approach to examining the development of the concept of mind in antiquity, as well as the development of the contemporary sciences that constitute cognitive science. We will then examine contemporary topics, debates, and methodology of philosophy of mind and the various cognitive sciences with emphasis on psychology and neuroscience. Topics include but are not limited to the nature of mental representation, human memory systems, human inference abilities, and the nature and significance of qualitative conscious experience.

There are six goals for this course:

  1. Learn to formulate their own views on various philosophical questions.
  2. Learn to develop views through: (a) research into the philosophical and cognitive science literature, and (b) understanding as well as explicating the relationships between their own views and the positions/information in the academic literature.
  3. Learn to read and evaluate scholarly journal articles from the philosophical literature. Emphasis will be on development of the following abilities: extracting arguments from texts; evaluating those arguments by challenging either their assumptions or logical form; identifying a thesis and relating the paper’s elements to the development of that thesis; and placing a texts in a larger historical and/or disciplinary context.
  4. Gain significant insight into the historical development, intellectual movements, particular theories, investigative methodologies of philosophy of science as well as interactions between philosophy and science (especially cognitive science) in addressing fundamental questions.
  5. Show a grasp of the practical implications and real-world instances of philosophical questions and theories, including a sense of the potential impact of such theories.
  6. Improve writing abilities, particularly regarding abilities to write concise, highly organized, and self-contained expositions of theories, arguments, and empirical findings, as well as the interrelationships between them.