Unit 6: Philosophy of the Mind
KMF 1014 Introduction to Cognitive Science
The Philosophical Approach
The oldest of all disciplines in CS
Formulating & answering questions about the
Address the issues such as:
the nature of knowing (epistemology)
the mind-body distinction
the mind-brain distinction
The Philosophical Approach: Reasoning
Deductive – application of
rules of logic to statements
about the world
UNIMAS students sleep three hours
Ali is a UNIMAS student
Ali sleeps three hours every night
Inductive – drawing
conclusions based on
commonalities observed in
Maxi, the Persian cat, has four legs.
Lola, the Siamese cat, has four legs.
All cats have four legs.
Greek origin - love of wisdom
Phil (philos) = love
Soph (sophia) = wise
The Love of Wisdom
Combines the cognitive and the emotional
dimensions of our mind – seeking answers to
BIG questions, ones that often have more than
one possible answer, or no clear answer at all
What makes a human? Is it our minds, our
bodies? Or a combination of the two?
How do we gain knowledge & understanding?
Is it with our senses, our minds, or something
Search for wisdom
Ancient Greeks believed:
wisdom did not come naturally to the human beings
wisdom was inaccessible to all but the determined and
Philosophy is not possession of wisdom but a search for it
In some sense, we are all philosophers, we all think and
reflect in our own critical way about the question that
matter most to us
Everyone asks the important questions and tries,
however feebly, to formulate meaningful answers.
That is, everyone participates, more or less, in the
Philosophy is regarded as the conceptual inquiry
dealing with fundamental issues relating to
The tool for philosophers are
the Law of thoughts
Analyzing the meaning of concepts
Clarify concepts and analyze propositions/ statement, belief and theories
Identifying logical connections between theories
Evaluating arguments and exposing fallacies
Major task: construct valid and sound arguments
Philosophy of the Mind
The philosophy of mind is concerned with the
problems associated with the functioning of the
mind or brain. Such problems can take on many
different aspects, for instance:
Is the mind separate from the brain, or a by-product of it?
Is there such a thing as a permanent self or soul?
What is consciousness?
Is artificial intelligence possible?
Philosophy & Cognitive Psychology
Recap Unit 2: Cognitive Processes
How do we know that something is true/real?
What is Reality?
How do we know?
What is the Nature of Reality?
What is the Nature of Knowledge?
Epistemology: How we know what we know
The study of the nature, origin, and limits of human knowledge. The term derived from the Greek epistēmē (“knowledge”) and logos (“reason”),
The mind is primary source
Knowledge derives ultimately
from experience & sensation
The Rationalist View (Latin: ratio = reason)
First started by Plato but made famous by René
French philosopher, mathematician, Founder of Modern
Philosophy and the Father of Modern Mathematics
the mind is primary source of knowledge
A point of view that states that reason plays the main role in understanding the world and obtaining knowledge.
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