9.69 Foundations of Cognition

Spring 2003

' The Thinker, Auguste Rodin'
"The Thinker," Auguste Rodin. (Photograph by Prof. Lera Boroditsky.)

Course Highlights

This course features in-depth readings associated with lectures. Sample exam questions provide a flavor of the depth of material covered in this course.

Course Description

Advances in cognitive science have resolved, clarified, and sometimes complicated some of the great questions of Western philosophy: what is the structure of the world and how do we come to know it; does everyone represent the world the same way; what is the best way for us to act in the world. Specific topics include color, objects, number, categories, similarity, inductive inference, space, time, causality, reasoning, decision-making, morality and consciousness. Readings and discussion include a brief philosophical history of each topic and focus on advances in cognitive and developmental psychology, computation, neuroscience, and related fields. At least one subject in cognitive science, psychology, philosophy, linguistics, or artificial intelligence is required. An additional project is required for graduate credit.

*Some translations represent previous versions of courses.

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Prof. Lera Boroditsky
Prof. Josh Tenenbaum

Course Meeting Times

Three sessions / week
2 hours / session


Undergraduate / Graduate