Philosophy and Cognitive Science - 2016

This page is for past year, View 2017 unit details.

Unit summary


  • Level of Study: Undergraduate Level 3
  • Study load: 0.125 EFTSL
  • Delivery method: Fully Online
  • Prerequisites: Yes
  • Duration: 13 weeks
  • Government loans available: FEE-HELP, HECS-HELP
  • Availability for 2016: SP1 , SP3
  • Assessment: Paper - Mini-papers (40%) , Participation (10%) - Learn more

Unit provided by

2016 Fees
Domestic 782.00
HECS 782.00
International 1,032.00

This unit was previously known as PHI310 Philosophy and Cognitive Science.

The cognitive sciences have made great strides in our understanding of mind and cognition. This unit covers the philosophical foundations of cognitive science. It examines the successes of cognitive science as well as some of the problems it currently faces - such as the nature of consciousness and the self. It also looks at the recent challenge to computational approaches to cognition from the embodied and embedded movement. Some of the topics that are likely to be covered include (but are not limited to): delusions and psychopathology; consciousness; representation and computation; fMRI technology; embodiment and body image; gender and the brain; the extended mind. No background in psychology or science is assumed.

At the completion of this unit students will be able to:

  1. acquire a coherent and advanced knowledge of the methodology, concepts and arguments of cognitive science and philosophy
  2. synthesize and analyze information from a variety of sources concerning foundational concepts and arguments in cognitive science and philosophy
  3. articulate clearly and coherently philosophical arguments in written and oral form to a variety of audiences
  4. analyze and critically evaluate philosophical arguments
  5. apply acquired knowledge and skills in the context of philosophical and cognitive science scholarship
  6. reflect individual performance to identify opportunities for improvement
  7. understand and critically evaluate evidence from a broad range of disciplines including cognitive science, psychology and neuroscience.
  • Paper — Mini-papers (40%)
  • Participation (10%)
  • Research Assignment — Research plan (5%)
  • Research Paper (45%)

Equivalent units

You cannot enrol in this unit if you have successfully completed any of the following unit(s) because they are considered academically equivalent:

  • PHI310 — Philosophy and Cognitive Science

You must complete some Level 1 and 2 studies before starting this unit. Prior study in Philosophy or another relevant discipline is recommended.

  • Broadband access — Students are required to have regular access to a computer and the internet. Mobile devices alone are not sufficient.

This unit addresses the following topics.

1Introduction to course - What is Cognitive Science
2THEORIES OF COGNITION: The mind as a classical computer
3Is computation enough?
4Alternative 1 - Connectionism
5Alternative 2 - Embodied Cognition
6Alternative 3 - Extended Cognition
7METHODOLOGY: Explanation in Cognitive Science
8What can functional neuroimaging tell us about the mind?
9Are you a killjoy or a romantic?
10Investigating animal minds
11Case study - Place cells, navigation and memory
13Case study - Are there gender differences in the brain?
14Case study - What is it to be mentally disordered?

This unit is delivered using the following methods and materials:

Instructional Methods

  • Discussion Forum/Discussion Board
  • Online assignment submission
  • Podcasting/Lecture capture
  • Standard Media
  • Web links

Online materials

  • Printable format materials
  • Resources and Links

This unit is an approved elective in the following courses:

This unit may be eligible for credit towards other courses:

  1. Many undergraduate courses on offer through OUA include 'open elective' where any OUA unit can be credited to the course. You need to check the Award Requirements on the course page for the number of allowed open electives and any level limitations.
  2. In other cases, the content of this unit might be relevant to a course on offer through OUA or elsewhere. In order to receive credit for this unit in the course you will need to supply the provider institution with a copy of the Unit Profile in the approved format, which you can download here. Note that the Unit Profile is set at the start of the year, and if textbooks change this may not match the Co-Op textbook list.
This unit does not have a prescribed textbook(s).

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