Philosophy of Cognitive Science and Artificial Intelligence - PL609

Location Term Level Credits (ECTS) Current Convenor 2017-18 2018-19
(version 2)
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5 30 (15)







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.


This module appears in:

Contact hours

2 hours of lecture and 1 hour of seminar classes per week for 10 teaching weeks


Also available under code PL583 (Level 6)

Method of assessment

100% Coursework:

Preliminary reading

Indicative reading list:

Bechtel, W. (1998). Philosophy of mind : an overview for cognitive science. Hillsdale, N.J.; Hove: L. Erlbaum Associates.
Boden M. (ed.) (1990]). The philosophy of artificial intelligence, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Boden M. (2008). Mind as machine : a history of cognitive science, Oxford : Clarendon.
Clark A. (2008) Supersizing the mind embodiment, action, and cognitive extension, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Copeland J. (1993). Artificial intelligence: a philosophical introduction, Oxford: Blackwell;
Dreyfus, H. (1992), What Computers Still Can't Do. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

See the library reading list for this module (Medway)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes:

On successfully completing the level 5 module students will be able to:
Demonstrate their knowledge and critical understanding of some of the major arguments concerning the possibility of machine intelligence;
Engage critically with some of the central philosophical issues in this area concerning the nature of thought and consciousness;
Demonstrate their critical understanding of some accounts of the mind from the cognitive sciences.;
Demonstrate the ability to engage in a close critical reading of some of major texts in the philosophy of cognitive science and artificial intelligence.

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