Philosophy of Cognitive Science and Artificial Intelligence - PHIL5830

Looking for a different module?

Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2024 to 2025
Spring Term 6 30 (15) Jon Williamson checkmark-circle


The module will study some of the major works in the history of modern philosophy of cognitive science and artificial intelligence. An indicative list of topics is: The Turing test; the Chinese Room argument; the frame problem; connectionism; extended and embodied cognition; artificial consciousness. The approach will be philosophical and critical, and will involve the close reading of texts. Students will be expected to engage critically with the works being studied and to formulate and argue for their own views on the issues covered.


Contact hours

Total Contact Hours: 40
Total Private Study Hours: 260
Total Study Hours: 300

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods:
Essay (3,000 words) – 80% (This assessed component must be passed)
Seminar Performance – 20%

Reassessment methods
100% Coursework (3,000 words)

Indicative reading

The University is committed to ensuring that core reading materials are in accessible electronic format in line with the Kent Inclusive Practices. The most up to date reading list for each module can be found on the university's reading list pages:

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes.

On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
1 Demonstrate a deep and systematic understanding of some of the major arguments concerning the possibility of machine intelligence;
2 Engage critically in a sustained and systematic fashion with several of the central philosophical issues in this area concerning the nature of thought and consciousness;
3 Demonstrate their systematic and critical understanding of accounts of the mind from the cognitive sciences;
4 Demonstrate the ability to engage in a sustained and very close critical reading of several major texts in the philosophy of cognitive science and artificial intelligence.

The intended generic learning outcomes.

On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
1 Demonstrate the enhancement of their existing skills in critical analysis and argument through their reading and through listening to others
2 Demonstrate an ability to be understandable in their philosophical writing and dialogue, with a focus on precision and clarity;
3 Demonstrate confidence in working autonomously and taking responsibility for their learning.


  1. Credit level 6. Higher level module usually taken in Stage 3 of an undergraduate degree.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
Back to top

University of Kent makes every effort to ensure that module information is accurate for the relevant academic session and to provide educational services as described. However, courses, services and other matters may be subject to change. Please read our full disclaimer.