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Back to Philosophy and the Sciences: Introduction to the Philosophy of Cognitive Sciences

Learner Reviews & Feedback for Philosophy and the Sciences: Introduction to the Philosophy of Cognitive Sciences by The University of Edinburgh

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About the Course

Course Description What is our role in the universe as human agents capable of knowledge? What makes us intelligent cognitive agents seemingly endowed with consciousness? This is the second part of the course 'Philosophy and the Sciences', dedicated to Philosophy of the Cognitive Sciences. Scientific research across the cognitive sciences has raised pressing questions for philosophers. The goal of this course is to introduce you to some of the main areas and topics at the key juncture between philosophy and the cognitive sciences. Each week we will introduce you to some of these important questions at the forefront of scientific research. We will explain the science behind each topic in a simple, non-technical way, while also addressing the philosophical and conceptual questions arising from it. Areas you’ll learn about will include: Philosophy of psychology, among whose issues we will cover the evolution of the human mind and the nature of consciousness. Philosophy of neurosciences, where we’ll consider the nature of human cognition and the relation between mind, machines, and the environment. Learning objectives Gain a fairly well-rounded view on selected areas and topics at the intersection of philosophy and the sciences Understand some key questions, and conceptual problems arising in the cognitive sciences. Develop critical skills to evaluate and assess these problems. Suggested Readings To accompany 'Philosophy and the Sciences', we are pleased to announce a tie-in book from Routledge entitled 'Philosophy and the Sciences for Everyone'. This course companion to the 'Philosophy and the Sciences' course was written by the Edinburgh Philosophy and the Sciences team expressly with the needs of MOOC students in mind. 'Philosophy and the Sciences for Everyone' contains clear and user-friendly chapters, chapter summaries, glossary, study questions, suggestions for further reading and guides to online resources. Please note, this companion book is optional - all the resources needed to complete the course are available freely and listed on the course site....

Top reviews


Feb 10, 2020

this course was very broad and incredibly interesting. I highly recommend it as introduction to the philosophy of science, but I have to warn you: Once you have started, your journey won't stop here!


Jun 24, 2020

this is the great course for the people who are pursuing their carer in philosophy, philosophy of mind to be more precise and also for the people who are thinking of doing psychology later anytime.

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1 - 25 of 299 Reviews for Philosophy and the Sciences: Introduction to the Philosophy of Cognitive Sciences

By Neringa B

Oct 22, 2018

Recommended course for those who are interested in ways of obtaining self-knowledge. One of the insights that came to mind after having listened to the course videos is that creations (of objects, theories, algorithms, phenomena) reflect the reality of their creator best and to a varying degree the reality of creator's associates. Another one is that both the understanding (of the word content) and definitions of concepts evolve with the development of self-consciousness.

By Pamela J R

May 14, 2018

I learned a lot about robotics and new ideas about the brain and the new importance given to embodiment. Using Rodin's The Thinker as a classic model of what thought is and is for, the case is made that the brain is more accurately seen as part of a sensory system, and that interaction with the environment has been the driving force behind brain evolution. Very good inter-disciplinary approach. When examining the nature and operation of consciousness, having examples of animal behavior and from the field of robotics helps to crystallize and demonstrate new theories.

By Catharina G

Feb 11, 2020

this course was very broad and incredibly interesting. I highly recommend it as introduction to the philosophy of science, but I have to warn you: Once you have started, your journey won't stop here!

By Carlos M

Aug 7, 2018

I have enjoyed the course, specially the detailed way of explained all the topics by the instructors. Also, I went through some of the bibliography sources provided which is a lot. Thank You all

By Avika S

Jun 25, 2020

this is the great course for the people who are pursuing their carer in philosophy, philosophy of mind to be more precise and also for the people who are thinking of doing psychology later anytime.

By Dorothy H

Sep 21, 2017

I'm really into the Cognitive Sciences - but not into robotics.

Thsi course is really about robotics.

You'll probably really enjoy it if you like robotics - but the course really needs a more accurate name.

By Jeff S

May 17, 2021

If you want a course where the lecturers talk only to impress themselves and fail to define terms or their relevance, this course is for you.

By Ayushi M

May 21, 2020

The lectures are incomprehensible to those new to the subject

By Ugo N

Aug 7, 2017

Very informative work! Take it if you're interested in learning more about brain process and the functionality behind consciousness. They preview a cool experiment here in week 2, called TMI. It sends magnetic waves through to a particular portion of the brain, halting activity in that region. By so doing we are able to tell what parts of the brain are responsible for certain activity.

Take it! I recommend it. and I haven't even gotten to the good stuff.

Thank you!

By Stephen L

Nov 2, 2018

Excellent course. There is as much math as you want to take on, but you can skip over it to get the philosophical concepts being presented. I feel like I got a handle on Dark Matter and Dark Energy at least at a layman's talk at a cocktail party (I go to very nerdy cocktail parties) level. The philosophical notions of under-determination and falsifiability are useful for somene who thinks about science.

By Harshit V

Jun 28, 2018

The interdisciplinary nature of cognitive sciences takes away a backseat when televised via the philosophical aspect of nature and reasons. The course opens up beautifully, skillfully inspiring the various approaches to the umbrella branches under cognitive sciences. AI, Consciousness and the philosophical approach binds and explains the fragility we are at this very space in time.

By Jonathan A H

Jun 11, 2017

This course was a great introduction to the philosophy of cognitive sciences. Though I have been finishing a feature film called One 2 Zero which contains much of the philosophy and science presented here, I was happy to find there is always more to learn. Once the film is completed I am looking forward to beginning my graduate education in this field. Thank you!

By Robin

May 27, 2020

I have long been interested in cognitive psychology and AI, and this course has allowed me to find out about the philosophical aspects of the mind. The course is taught in an entertaining and personal way, while the content is at times complex and requires deep thought. I enjoyed the illustrations from robotic research and the simulations of animal behaviour.

By Tien D

Oct 8, 2019

THANK YOU! Digestible contents. Easy-to-understand explanation. This course has given me a sufficient understanding of the field of cognitive science, not to overloaded, but sufficient to spark my interest in the subject and teaches me a lot of useful new information about my own brain. Very useful introductory course! Highly recommend!

By Phillip C

Nov 22, 2017

Wow, definitely worth taking. You will be treated to a broad multi-dimensional view of cognition that is not biased towards any specific view point. You will be exposed to several perspectives of the philosophy and emergent science of cognition. If you're interested in philosophical exploration in this area this is a must-take.

By Ujjawal S

Dec 4, 2018

Great Course, covers really interesting topics regarding brains, its philosophies and cognition related to it. The teachers and the instructors were very clear in their approach of making us understand the topics. Loved the course. Great job.

By Amitabh M

Nov 4, 2020

A very nice introduction to a person like me who had no idea about the subject. Had definitely triggered an interest to explore more on this topic and get deeper understanding of the subject.

By ida a

Jul 30, 2020

this course was exactly what I was looking for to learn the basic concepts regarding cognitive science and philosophical views on it. I glad that I found it and enrolled in it

By Aman S

Apr 20, 2020

This course made me understand how much more is there to our brain and cognition in general—an excellent introductory course on the diversity of this interdisciplinary topic.

By Майя С

Nov 15, 2019

Very thorough and deep understanding of the subjects by the professors and lecturers. Tests are very well prepared aimed at a deep understanding of a given theme.

By Kavita K

Jan 14, 2021

Learned a lot - great course to understand backdrop and history of cognitive psychology.

By Santanu C

Nov 28, 2020

This proved to be an exciting and highly educative introduction. I was personally captivated by the subject of the embodied mind/brain and by the amazingly well delivered lectures through which the subject was presented. However, all the themes and lectures appeared very relevant and instructive. One can only guess at and admire the hard work and careful application that went into crafting them and their visualizations. The lecturers did a wonderful job explaining, for example, the nature of consciousness, the importance of evolutionary biology in understanding cognition, the hard problem of consciousness, the Universal Turing Machine, and unconscious hypothesis formation. Personally, I would have been interested in a fuller explanation of the Bayes Theorem and exactly why we think that the brain modules employ this theorem. However, such matters, I guess, go beyond the scope of an introductory course.


Jun 5, 2020

I’m satisfied of this learning course because in four weeks of videos and lectures one is able to have a clear introduction to what cognitive science is and the topics it deals with. I chose it because cognitive science is an emerging field that, I think, will have an increasing importance in science. As a philosophy student I’m glad that cognitive sciences involve this discipline, and I think that is somehow progressive this idea of cooperation between different disciplines, since very often there is this tendency to specialize the disciplines. Definitely, I’ve found this course enjoyable and clearly explained.

By Aedrian A

Jan 19, 2021

Like its twin course dealing with the physical sciences, this offering is amazing and insightful in providing an overview of our collective and growing understanding of what constitutes a "mind" and the implications for potential applications. However, I would admit that this course is more enjoyable for me, since it is less overwhelming than the physical sciences course and some of the concepts were, at the very least, touched in other University of Edinburgh philosophy MOOCs. The examples presented here are exciting and one can only imagine the progress cognitive sciences can make in the next few years.

By Rayan S

Sep 9, 2020

A great, broad introduction to cognitive sciences. This course was very approachable as everything was clearly, concisely explained, and it did a good job at providing insights from many of the disciplines that make up cognitive sciences, while showcasing how they may complement and clash with one another. Thank you to the the Philosophy and the Science team!