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This course asks questions about how humans think. We examine how emotion has been considered distinct from cognition, as well as the relationship between language and thought. Some time is spent looking at the differences between perception, action, and rationality, while examining the role of social interaction in the development of our minds. Additionally, the class looks at the evolution of cognition, as well as the possibility that a mind could be realized on something other than a brain (and what the difference between the two might be). Cognitive science is an interdisciplinary field, and as such students are introduced to perspectives and methodologies from philosophy, psychology, biology, linguistics, and computer science. Offered each year.
This course examines some of the mental processes involved in human behavior. General issues to be covered include the accuracy of memory, problem solving, decision making, and the rationality of thought processes. Specific topics such as selective attention, subliminal perception, neurological bases of memory, and effects of aging will be discussed. (3B) (Also listed as Psychology 240.) Offered occasionally. Prerequisite: Psychology 100.
The human mind may be the last great mystery of the physical world–the thing that sets us apart from other animals and seems to defy physical law. In fact, consciousness holds the special title of “The Hard Problem.” Traditional philosophy of mind examines the mind-body problem, usually as it has been conceived and explored through analytic philosophy. This course looks at those texts that have defined and shaped the field historically, while including texts from other philosophical traditions that have only recently changed how the mind-body problem is understood. These include texts from phenomenologists, pragmatists, and linguists, among others. We survey many authors and perspectives, while remaining grounded in the classical texts of the field. (5T) (Also listed as Philosophy 241.) Offered even years, spring semester. Prerequisite: Philosophy 110 or 115.
This course provides advanced students in cognitive science an opportunity to engage in a small, seminar-style reading group, introducing advanced topics and topics of more immediate concern. It also gives students a chance to think about what they will do with a cognitive science major after Beloit, including discussions and assignments around graduate school, industry work, or other related careers. This course provides multiple opportunities for students to take control of the syllabus and structure the discussions through their leadership. (CP) Prerequisites: preference given to junior and senior majors and minors.
Independent research by a superior student under faculty supervision. (CP) Prerequisite: Senior standing, invitation only.
This course examines advanced topics in cognitive science that reflect the interests and expertise of the instructor. This course serves as a capstone course for cognitive science majors and minors. It is open to others with the proper prerequisites. May be repeated for credit if topic is different. (CP) Prerequisite: Cognitive Science 101 and one other Cognitive Science course. Other prerequisites may be required depending on topics.
Individual study or research under close faculty supervision. Prerequisite: sophomore standing.
Work with faculty in classroom instruction. Graded credit/no credit.