Introduction to the Mind

Phil 1334 Instructor: Jim Garson

Phone: x33208 or x33010


This course explores the fundamental philosophical question: what is a mind and how does it work? Students will study the important and sometimes surprising conclusions found in interdisciplinary research on artificial intelligence, cognitive psychology, linguistics, neurology, biology and philosophy. Topics will include such questions as these. Can our minds be the product of evolution? Are minds like computers? Can machines really understand language? How do we see? Do emotions conflict with reason? What is the purpose of consciousness? Do animals have consciousness? Do we have free will? The main text for the course will be Steven Pinker's award winning national bestseller How the Mind Works. One reviewer writes that this book is "simply thrilling in its intricacy, subtlety and scope .. along with more laughs than one would have thought possible in so illuminating a book".

There are no prerequisites.
The course satisfies the following core requirement: Writing Intensive Social Science.

Course Syllabus

Useful Links on Cognitive Science