09-07 Intro to Cog Sci Lecture 2

09-07 Intro to Cog Sci Lecture 2 - Introduction to...

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Introduction to Cognitive Science Lecture 2: 9/7/09 Last time: We suggested that cognitive science is the most interesting subject to study. We also discussed how we will fractionate that and how inter-disciplinary the field is. Today: More abstract principles and thoughts regarding cognitive science Foundations of Cognitive Science: 1. The unity of cognitive science 2. Cognitive architecture 3. 4. Modularity: Pieces of mind 5. 6. Evolution Cognitive Science is defined by the topic (mind), not by method! - Experimental psychology - Developmental psychology - Computer science - Linguistics - Neuroscience & neuropsychology - Philosophy Foundational Questions: - Cognitive science is supposed to be ‘inter-disciplinary’. Why? Why is this a good thing? o 1. Do we really need all these disciplines? If so, why? o 2. Why not cognitive scienceS? Why all these disciplines? 1. Uninteresting sociological reasons - Cognitive science may include many departments in order to be friendlier to students or to get more grants 2. The ‘natural alignment’ of our interests! - The method free aspect of cognitive science (i.e. use any tool!) meshes with how humans think naturally. William James, the author of “Principles of Psychology,” wrote about domain oriented interests 3. Methodological reasons - Shortcuts to the truth - By combining principles, we are more efficient! We can better cure instinct blindness in this way (e.g. computer science and neuropsychology) 4. Intrinsic scientific reasons - Each field is autonomous! (each field produces its own rule which independent; the fields cannot be reduced to each other) - Cannot get rid of a field even in principle! Instinct blindness ( Reason #3: Methodological reasons) - Scholl says this is the most important discovery in how the mind works - Our intuitions about how the mind works are misguided - “The ‘naturalness’ of certain inferences acts to obstruct the discovery of the mechanisms that produced them. Cognitive instincts create problems for cognitive scientists. Precisely because they
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09-07 Intro to Cog Sci Lecture 2 - Introduction to...

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