PHIL 2030 - Cognitive Science: Minds, Brains & Computers

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2019

Cognitive Science is a multi-disciplinary enterprise that seeks to explain human intelligence and behaviour by drawing together the insights from psychology, computer science, neuroscience, and philosophy. This course is an introduction to the philosophical and theoretical foundations of this field. Topics will include the computational model of the mind, classical (digital) and connectionist (analog) approaches to cognition, embodied and extended cognition, dynamical systems theory, and predictive coding models of perception. While there will be discussion of computation and computational accounts of cognition, the course is introductory and does not assume a background in computing or mathematics.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code PHIL 2030
    Course Cognitive Science: Minds, Brains & Computers
    Coordinating Unit Philosophy
    Term Semester 1
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 3 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Prerequisites At least 12 units of Level I undergraduate study
    Incompatible PHIL 2013 or PHIL 3013
    Course Description Cognitive Science is a multi-disciplinary enterprise that seeks to explain human intelligence and behaviour by drawing together the insights from psychology, computer science, neuroscience, and philosophy. This course is an introduction to the philosophical and theoretical foundations of this field. Topics will include the computational model of the mind, classical (digital) and connectionist (analog) approaches to cognition, embodied and extended cognition, dynamical systems theory, and predictive coding models of perception. While there will be discussion of computation and computational accounts of cognition, the course is introductory and does not assume a background in computing or mathematics.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Jonathan Opie

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    This course aims to:

    1. introduce students to the central topics and problems in the philosophy of cognitive science; and
    2. Develop an understanding of related topics in philosophy, cogntiive psychology, computer science and neuroscience.

    After successfully completing this course, students should:

    3. Be aware of the main philosophical positions in cognitive science;
    4. Have experience in analyzing and critiquing written arguments;
    5. Show improvement in problem solving and critical reasoning skills; and
    6. Be able to discuss and debate philosophical issues in a group setting.
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    1, 2, 3
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    1, 2, 3, 4, 5
    Teamwork and communication skills
    • developed from, with, and via the SGDE
    • honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
    • encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
    4, 5, 6
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    4, 5, 6
    Intercultural and ethical competency
    • adept at operating in other cultures
    • comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
    • Able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
    • demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
    4, 5, 6
    Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
    • a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
    • open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
    • able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
    4, 5, 6
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    Workshop readings will be made available on MyUni. These are also suitable reference material for preparation of your written assignments.

    Additional readings for preparing your essays will be made available on MyUni.
    Online Learning
    Lecture notes will be available on MyUni each week. These are summaries and are not a substitute for attending lectures.

    Lecture recordings will be posted on MyUni following the lectures. Sometimes these take a day or two to go up, so please be patient.

    Workshop questions for the following week will be available on MyUni. Before each workshop, please read the set material, available on MyUni, and submit your answers online.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    In addition to lectures, there is a one-hour workshop each week during Weeks 2-5 and 7-12. Please read the set material and submit written answers to the workshop questions before each session. The aim of the workshops is to improve your understanding of the course content and help prepare you for essay writing, so please attend as many as you can.
    Workload

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    The information below is a guide to the average number of hours per week you should spend on this course. The total is 144 hours over the whole semester, including breaks.

    2-hour lecture  24 hours per semester
    1-hour tutoria 10 hours per semester
    1 hour lecture revision 10 hours per semester
    4 hours workshop preparation 40 hours per semester
    5 hours essay preparation 60 hours per semester
    TOTAL WORKLOAD 144 hours per semester
    Learning Activities Summary

    No information currently available.

  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Task Type

    Weight

    Objectives
    Participation    Formative 40% 4-6
    Essay 1 Summative    30% 1-5
    Essay 2 Summative 30% 1-5
    Assessment Detail
    Your assessment in Cognitive Science will be based on workshop participation and essays. The word limits below are lower and upper bounds, respectively.
    1. Participation. There will be a reading and workshop paper each week. You will be awarded 4 marks per paper when you submit your answers on MyUni.
    2. Essay 1 (1500-1800 words). This essay will be based on material from Weeks 1-5.
    3. Essay 2 (1500-1800 words). This essay will be based on material from Weeks 6-12.
    Essay Questions will be made available on MyUni along with suitable readings. Each essay must satisfy the following requirements:
    1. It must include a brief introduction and conclusion.
    2. It must acknowledge any dependence, either direct or indirect, on source material.
    3. It must include a reference list of all material cited in the essay.
    4. It must not lie outside the stated word limits (see above).
    Written work which doesn’t conform to these requirements may be penalized.

    Overdue Work & Extensions

    Work that is late will receive a penalty of 2% for every day the work is overdue, including weekends and public holidays, unless you have an extension.

    Work that is more than seven days late will receive a mark of zero, unless you have been awarded an extension.

    Extensions are granted on the basis of medical, compassionate, or extenuating circumstances. To request an extension, please contact the course coordinator and make sure to provide supporting documents. Extension requests must be made before the due date.
    Submission
    Your assignments, including answers to workshop questions, are to be submitted through MyUni. Remember that it is your responsibility to submit your assignments correctly.

    The submission process is as follows:

    • Log into MyUni and select Cognitive Science (PHIL_2030).
    • Select Assignments in the left-hand menu.
    • Select Workshop 1 or Essay 1 or 2, etc., as appropriate.
    • Follow the instructions for uploading your assignment.
    • Please be sure to keep electronic copies of your work.
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy (http://www.adelaide.edu.au/policies/101/) course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

The University of Adelaide is committed to regular reviews of the courses and programs it offers to students. The University of Adelaide therefore reserves the right to discontinue or vary programs and courses without notice. Please read the important information contained in the disclaimer.