Foundations of the Mind Spring 2017

Hello, everyone. Please download the syllabus for PSYC 890 Foundations of the Mind and the Word document pre-formatted for your weekly submissions. The optional text of Pinker is available here.

The entire course outline is tentative and may be subject to change. Exact dates for exams will be announced closer to time.

Meeting 1.19 Syllabus and introductions

Meeting 1.26 Mind and some preliminaries, having read

Bechtel, W., Abrahamsen, A., & Graham, G. (2001). Cognitive science: History. International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences (pp. 2154-2158). New York, NY: Elsevier.

Polanyi, M. (1966). The tacit dimension. Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press.

Watson, J. B. (1913). Psychology as the behaviorist views it. Psychological Review, 20, 158-177.

Meeting 2.02 Mind: Some basic concepts, having read

Churchland, P. M. (1988). [From] The ontological problem (the mind-body problem). In Matter and consciousness (chap. 2, pp. 7-21). Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.

Descartes, R. (1996). [Meditation 1 & 2, Selection from] Meditations on first philosophy: With selections from the Objections and Replies (Rev. ed.). (J. Cottingham, Trans.). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. (Original work published 1641)

Descartes. R. selections from Discourse on Method [part III-V]

Freud, S. (1925). [Selection from] The unconscious (J. Riviere, Trans,). In J. Strachey (Ed.), The standard edition of the complete psychological works of Sigmund Freud (Vol. 14, pp. 166-176). London: Hogarth Press. (Original work published 1915)

McGinn, C. (1989). Can we solve the mind-body problem? Mind, 98, 349-366.

Nagel, T. (1974). What is it like to be a bat? The Philosophical Review, 83, 435-450.

optional Pinker, S. (1997). How the mind works (chap. 1; Standard equipment). New York, NY: W. W. Norton & Company.

Meeting 2.09 Mind: Some basic concepts (continued)

Meeting 2.16 Mind: Some basic concepts (continued)

Meeting 2.23 Mind and its more modern beginnings (c. 1956), having read

Chomsky, N. (1956, September). Three models for the description of language. Institute of Radio Engineers [now, IEEE] Transactions on Information Theory, 2(3), 113-124.

Miller, G. A. (1956, September). Human memory and the storage of information. Institute of Radio Engineers [now, IEEE] Transactions on Information Theory, 2(3), 129-137.

Newell, A., & Simon, H. A. (1956, September). The logic theory machine—A complex information processing system. Institute of Radio Engineers [now, IEEE] Transactions on Information Theory, 2(3), 61-79.

Place, U. T. (1956). Is consciousness a brain process? British Journal of Psychology, 47, 44-50.

****Next class we’ll finish up some loose ends on Freud and then discuss Place (1956), Miller (1956), and Chomsky (1956), as well as cover the basics of Newell and Simon (1956).****

Meeting 3.02 Toward Mind and computers, having read

Eco, U. (1995). The search for the perfect language (pp. 25-33; J. Fentress, Trans.). Cambridge, MA: Blackwell.

Newell, A., & Simon, H. A. (1961). Computer simulation of human thinking: A theory of problem solving expressed as a computer program permits simulation of thinking processes. Science, 134, 2011-2017.

Searle, J. R. (1980). Minds, brains, and programs. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 3, 417-424.

Turing, A. M. (1950). Computing machinery and intelligence. Mind, 59, 433-460.

optional Pinker, S. (1997). How the mind works (chap. 2; Thinking machines). New York, NY: W. W. Norton & Company.

Meeting 3.16… Mind and computers (continued)


Meeting 3.30… Mind and computers (continued)

Meeting 4.06 Mind and perception I., having read

Bach-y-Rita, P., & Kercel, S. W. (2003). Sensory substitution and the human-machine interface. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 7, 541-546.

Blakemore, C., & Cooper, G. F. (1970). Development of the brain depends on the visual environment. Nature, 228, 477-478.

Gregory, R. (1972, June 23). Seeing as thinking: An active theory of perception. London Times Literary Supplement, 707-708.

[from] Lambert, K. G. (2017). Biological psychology. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press **see email for link & assignment**

optional Marr, D. (1982). [Selection from] Vision: A computational investigation into the human representation and processing of visual information (pp. 8-38). San Francisco, CA: W. H. Freeman.

optional Pinker, S. (1997). How the mind works (chap. 4; The mind’s eye). New York, NY: W. W. Norton & Company.

Meeting 4.13 Mind and perception II., having read

[from] Gibson, J. J. (1986). The ecological approach to visual perception. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. (Original work published 1979)

[from] Noë, A. (2005). Action in perception. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press. **please read chapter 1 and maybe even chapter 2!**

Meeting 4.20 Mind and concepts, having read

Machery, E. (2005). Concepts are not a natural kind. Philosophy of Science, 72, 444-467.

Smith, E. E., & Medin, D. L. (1981). Categories and concepts (pp. 1-60). Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Meeting 4.27 Mind and its alternative foundations I., having read

[from] Heidegger, M. (1962). Being and time. (J. Macquarrie & E. Robinson, Trans.; pp. 24-28, 32-35, 67-77, 78-102, 102-122, 123-134). New York, NY: HarperCollins. (Original work published 1927)

Meeting 5.04 Mind and its alternative foundations II., having read

[from] Aristotle De Anima [Book 2]

Clark, A., & Chalmers, D. J. (1998). The extended mind. Analysis, 58, 7-19.

optional Adams, F., & Aizawa, K. (2001). The bounds of cognition. Philosophical Psychology, 14, 43-64.