384.126 - Logical Foundations of Cognitive Science

Institute of Computer Technology, TU Vienna

Winter Semester 2008/09

This course is held by the Canadian guest professor Dr. Harold Boley and only takes place in the winter semester 2008/09. The lecture language is English (questions can also be asked in German).

Aim of Course

The aim of this course is to explore logical foundations of cognitive science, to engage students in discussions, and to encourage them to reconsider and formalize their own theories using AI knowledge representations.

Topics of Course

Cognitive Science is the scientific study of the mind, drawing on Psychology, Neurophysiology, Philosophy, and Artificial Intelligence (AI). This course is an introduction to the logical foundations of Cognitive Science, including its ontological distinctions. It will present surprising new theories on issues about our own minds that have puzzled philosophers for millennia. It will engage students in discussions and encourage them to reconsider and formalize their own theories using AI knowledge representations. The following topics will be dealt with: What is Cognitive Science? Roles of Logic in Cognitive Science. The Mind-Body Problem. Dualism, Materialism. Pros and Cons of Functionalism: The Chinese Room. Levels of Description. Classic AI. Intentionality. Mental Representations. Mental Modules. The Language of Thought Hypothesis. Folk Psychology and Eliminativism. Instrumentalism. Connectionism. Connectionism vs. Language of Thought and vs. Modularity of Mind. Consciousness: the Hard Problem. Concepts of Consciousness. Contra Physicalist Theories of Consciousness: the Knowledge Argument. Is thinking unconscious? Is there Free Will?

Lecture Dates

Date Time Place Topic
Mon, 20.10.2008 13:15 CD0404 Introductory Lecture (ppt)
Mon, 27.10.2008 15:15 - 16:45 CD0404 Lecture 1:
Chinese Room (ppt)
Wed, 29.10.2008 15:15 - 16:45 CD0404 Lecture 2:
Levels of Description (ppt)
Mon, 03.11.2008 15:15 - 16:45 CD0404 Lecture 3:
Language of Thought (ppt)
Wed, 05.11.2008 15:15 - 16:45 CD0404 Lecture 4:
Folk Psychology (ppt)
Mon, 10.11.2008 15:15 - 16:45 CD0404 Lecture 5:
Grailog (ppt),
Connectionism (ppt)
Wed, 12.11.2008 15:15 - 16:45 CD0404 Lecture 6:
Connectionism and LOT (ppt)
Mon, 17.11.2008 15:15 - 16:45 CD0404 Lecture 7:
Consciousness (ppt)
Wed, 19.11.2008 15:15 - 16:45 CD0404 Lecture 8:
Practice Exam,
Knowledge Argument (ppt)
Mon, 24.11.2008 15:15 - 16:45 CD0404 Test
Wed, 26.11.2008 15:15 - 16:45 CD0404 Lecture 9:
Thinking Unconscious (ppt)
Mon, 01.12.2008 15:15 - 16:45 CD0404 Lecture 10:
Free Will (ppt),
Planning Student Presentations
Wed, 03.12.2008 15:15 - 16:45 Kontaktraum Examination
Wed, 10.12.2008 15:15 - 16:45 CD0404 Student Presentations

Source Materials

The course is adapted from a course by Kelly Inglis on Philosophy and Cognitive Science, Philosophy Dept., University of Hong Kong, 2007-08, and employs Grailog to provide graph visualizations of cognitive and metacognitive content in logic, as developed by Harold Boley for knowledge representation from semantic nets to semantic webs.

Organizational Matters

The examination will take place on 03.12.2008. In exceptional cases, an alternative examination date can be agreed upon. For this purpose, please contact Rosemarie Velik. The Practice Exam is voluntary and will not be graded, but it provides a self-test for some of the course topics. The Test should be taken, as it is a preparation for the Examination and will be graded for those students for whom it will make a difference to improve on the grade of their Examination. The Examination is mandatory and will be graded. The organizers envision to offer short Student Presentations to those students for whom it will make a difference as another possibility to improve on the grade of their Examination. Please raise any questions in class or contact Harold Boley.

TU Wien | ICT | Website: Rosemarie Velik | ©2008 ICT