DEPARTMENT OF COMPUTER SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, SAN DIEGO

Cognitive Science 200:

Historical and Conceptual Foundations of Cognitive Science

Fall 2001


Information for speakers

All enrolled students should sign up for the cs200@cogsci.ucsd.edu mailing list.  To do this, send email to listserv@cogsci.  Detailed instructions are sent whenever a message is received from which no valid command can be parsed.
 
 

SCHEDULE OF PRESENTATIONS

Almost all readings are available online at http://reserves.ucsd.edu/coursepage.asp?cid=418.  To access this web site from off campus, you need a UCSD network userid and password, in order to use the UCSD proxy server.  Note that documents on the Reserves web site are listed in a different order from the order in which they should be read.  A few readings are linked directly from the titles in the following table.

Documents may be in HTML, PDF, or Microsoft Word.  To view Word documents inside a browser without having Word or Windows, MSWordView version 0.5.14 and the Word viewer built into Yahoo mail are both recommended.
 

September 21 Charles Elkan Introduction and overview
September 28 Clark Glymour Freud and contemporary cognitive science Cognitive Parts: From Freud to Farah, Chapter 10 of The Mind's Arrows: Bayes Nets and Graphical Causal Models in Psychology by Clark Glymour, 2001

Freud's Androids by Clark Glymour, in the Cambridge Companion to Freud edited by Jerome Neu, Cambridge University Press, 1992

October 5 Lev Manovich Information Theory, Human-Machine Systems and the Birth of Cognitive Science, or from "Human Motor" to "Human Information Processing" Selections from Chapter 4, The Engineering of Vision from Inkhuk to MIT, of The Engineering of Vision from Constructivism to Computers by Lev Manovich

Recent Contributions to the Mathematical Theory of Communication, Warren Weaver, pp. 95-117 in The Mathematical Theory of Communication, University of Illinois Press, 1949.

October 12 
Keith Holyoak
canceled
A century or so of analogical reasoning Chapters 1 and 5, The Analogical Mind, Gentner, Holyoak & Kokinov, MIT Press, 2001.
October 19 Mike Cole Culture and cognitive science "in the beginning" Norman, D. A. (1980). Twelve issues for cognitive science. Cognitive Science, 4, 1-32.

Chapters 1, 2, 3, and epilogue, The Mind's New Science: A History of the Cognitive Revolution, Howard E. Gardner, Basic Books, 2nd ed., 1987.

October 26 Wayne Martin The Logic and Phenomenology of Judgment:  Instructive Failures in the History of Cognitive Science David Hume (1739), A Treatise of Human Nature,  Book I, Part 3, § vii: Of the nature of the idea, or belief and Appendix.

Benjamin Libet (1985), Unconscious Cerebral Initiative and the Role of Conscious Will in Voluntary Action, Behavioral and Brain Sciences, vol. 8, pp. 529-566.

Michael Shadlen et al. (2001), Neural Computations that Underlie Decisions about Sensory Stimuli, Trends in Cognitive Science, vol. 5:1, pp. 10-16.

November 2 Michael Arbib From cybernetics to computational neuroscience: The metaphorical brains Chapter 1, A Historical Perspective, from Arbib, M.A., 1987, Brains, Machines and Mathematics, Second Edition, Springer Verlag.

Arbib, M.A., 2000, Warren McCulloch's Search for the Logic of the Nervous System, Perspectives in Biology and Medicine, 43:193-216.

Arbib, M.A., 1998, The metaphorical brains, Artificial Intelligence, 101:323-335. 

November 9 Alan Kay User Interfaces and Educational Computing
November 16 Joseph Goguen Social and cultural issues, distributed cognition, and consciousness

"The first paper is an overview of the current state of the field of
consciousness studies (with somewhat more emphasis on religion than might otherwise be expected, due to the nature of of the publication); it makes many
connections with cognitive science, neuroscience, and philosophy, and provides some historical contextualization.  The second paper presents a view of consciousness from the tradition of Russian activity theory (Vygotsky, etc.).  The third paper develops a notion of information that is grounded in the social, and (among other things) brings out the moral dimensions that follow from such a view.  Chapters 11 and 3 of the fourth reading (among other things) place cognitivist views of consciousness in the historical context of Western philosophy, drawing on ideas from Nishitani, Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty and others."

Consciousness Studies by Joseph Goguen, to appear in Encyclopaedia of Science and Religion, Macmillan 2002.

A Cultural-Historical View of Human Nature by Michael Cole and Karl Levitin.

Towards a Social, Ethical Theory of Information by Joseph Goguen, pp. 27-56 in Social Science Research, Technical Systems and Cooperative Work, edited by Geoffrey Bowker, Les Gasser, Leigh Star and William Turner, Erlbaum, 1997.

The Embodied Mind by Francisco Varela, Evan Thompson, and Eleanor Rosch, MIT 1991: chapter 11, and optionally, chapter 3.  These chapters can now be printed from new links on the e-reserves web site.

November 23
Thanksgiving
November 30 Robert Kluender Topic: Revisiting Language and Thought by Chomsky. Noam Chomsky, Language and Thought, 1993.  Concentrate on pp. 33-53 and 71-93, and the discussion by Schwartz.

 

ABSTRACTS AND MEETING SUMMARIES

date speaker title and abstract summary
September 21 

 

Charles Elkan Introduction and overview
September 28 Clark Glymour Freud and contemporary cognitive science 

In the late 19th century the medical school at the University of Vienna, where Freud was a student, researcher and post-doctoral lecturer was the European center for  the emerging subject of cognitive neuropsychology.  In 1891 using his own connectionist perspective, Freud produced a devastating attack on neuropsychological models and methods in aphasia research.  By 1895 he had developed a mixed connectionist model, including essentially what psychologists nowadays call the Hebb synapse, and a qualitative idea of Darwinian computational models.  His work on aphasia bears close resemblance to Martha Farah's work on Visual Agnosia, and his mixed model is in many respects similar to John Anderson's ACT* model. 

The problems with Freud's ambition to turn clinical and anatomical data into an empirically  well established theory of cognitive functioning became apparent to Freud, and his interests turned elsewhere. Arguably many of the same problems beset similar approaches to contemporary cognitive psychology.

Eric Wiewiora,
Erik Jackiw 

talk notes

section  notes

October 5 Lev Manovich Information Theory, Human-Machine Systems and the Birth of Cognitive Science, or from "Human Motor" to "Human Information Processing" 

My talk will focus on the history of the key paradigm which underlies not only modern computer science but also cognitive science: information theory.  How, when and why scientists came to assume that human perceptual and mental performance can be described using information theory?  Information theory emerged in the 1920s in response to the growth of modern telecommunications. The theory was originally developed by engineers in order to measure the efficiency of communication systems, such as telephone, radio, and television. In the late 1940s the theory left its engineering context and was taken up by psychologists faced with the practical task of designing human-machine systems which increasingly came to dominate both the battlefield and the workplace after World War II (radar screen, aircraft controls, computer terminals of the automated factory).  Information theory became a language used to characterise communication between a human and a machine, the two linked in a human-machine system. It also became an intellectual foundation for the new field of cognitive science aimed to describe the human in information processing and computational terms.

Bret Ehlert
October 12
Keith Holyoak
canceled
A century or so of analogical reasoning Bob Williams

Erin Clark 

October 19 Mike Cole Culture and cognitive science "in the beginning" Katherine DeLong

Evan Moreno-Davis

October 26 Wayne Martin The Logic and Phenomenology of Judgment:  Instructive Failures in the History of Cognitive Science 

I draw on the (recent and not-so-recent) history of cognitive science to illuminate a challenge facing contemporary experimental approaches to the neurophysiology of cognition. My focus is the cognitive phenomenon of judgment, and in particular three attempts to tackle this phenomenon experimentally. One of the experimental approaches comes from more-or-less ancient history: David Hume's attempt to develop a theory of belief in his Treatise of Human Nature (1739). Of the other two, one is recent (Benjamin Libet on unconscious cerebral initiative) and one is contemporary (Michael Shadlen on the neural computation of decision).  I identify a common challenge that figures in all three approaches: an adequate theory of judgment must somehow do justice both to the broadly logical features of judgment and to its psychological and phenomenological features.  I show how in Hume's case, the tensions between these two commitments lead to a rather dramatic experimental failure.  I then assess attempts by modern experimentalists to navigate the challenge dramatized by Hume's failure.

Victor Gidofalvi,
David Kauchak
November 2 Michael Arbib From cybernetics to computational neuroscience: The metaphorical brains 

This talk will be an account of the work of Warren McCulloch and his own experience in schema theory and brain modeling to chart (one view of) the historical relation between cybernetics, connectionism and current work in Computational and Cognitive Neuroscience.

Ed Hubbard,
Sameer Agarwal
November 9 Alan Kay User Interfaces and Educational Computing

I will show lots of AV and give some demos of old and current states of the arts.

Joe Drish, Hector Jasso
November 16 Joseph Goguen Social and cultural issues, distributed cognition, and consciousness

This talk will survey the state of the art of consciousness studies, with some emphasis on its relation to cognitive science; it will also review the rise and fall of cognitivism, particularly in relation to its problems with consciousness.  In choosing topics and positions, I will draw on my experience as editor in chief of the Journal of Consciousness Studies.

Joe Drish

Fox Harrell,
Eric Fine

November 23
Thanksgiving
November 30 Robert Kluender Topic: Revisiting Language and Thought by Chomsky. Jelena Jovanovic,
Mieko Jeno,
Robin Thompson

 

REGISTRATION AND REQUIREMENTS

Cog Sci 200 is open to all students and faculty at UCSD and nearby institutions.  It is especially intended for Ph.D. students in the Department of Cognitive Science and the Interdisciplinary Program in Cognitive Science.

The seminar meets every Friday from September 21 through November 30, except November 23 because of Thanksgiving.  Starting September 28, there will be a speaker from 2:20pm to 4:10pm, in room CSB 003.  All faculty and students are welcome to this main seminar.  There will also be a meeting for registered students only before each speaker, from 12:20pm to 1:40pm, in CSB 003 also.

Graduate students should register for four units through Student Link, using course id 412725.  To receive an S ("satisfactory") evaluation a student must:

For more details on student requirements see this Introduction and overview presentation.  Please only register S/U; do not register for a letter grade.
 
 

THEME

The theme of this offering of Cog Sci 200 will be Historical and Conceptual Foundations of Cognitive Science.  If anyone can think of a less pretentious title, please let me know!  Some of the information on this page is still subject to change.  Prospective participants are welcome to contact the seminar leader at elkan@cs.ucsd.edu.

The seminar will stress the history of cognitive science as it is relevant today, and the basic concepts and categories that people use in their research, maybe without examining them, more than more abstruse philosophical ideas.  The following are some representative possible topics; for actual topics see the list of speakers below.

The aim of the seminar is to give participants a wider and deeper perspective that they can use profitably in their own current research.  The seminar will not be promoting any particular view of what the historical or conceptual foundations of cognitive science should be.  The aim is to examine assumptions that are often taken for granted, not necessarily to change these assumptions.  We will take a step back from current research, and re-read important papers from past decades.

Cog Sci 200 participants may also be interested in the UCSD Human Development Program seminar series on Symbolic Development.
 
 

RATHER RANDOM LIST OF A FEW REFERENCES

Gregory Bateson, The Logical Categories of Learning and Communication, pages 279-308 in Steps to an Ecology of Mind, 1972, Ballantine Books.

Jean-Pierre Dupuy, Aux origines des sciences cognitives (Paris: La Découverte, 1994).

Jean-Pierre Dupuy, The Mechanization of the Mind: On the Origins of Cognitive Science, Princeton University Press, 2000.
 
 


Most recently updated on December 4, 2001 by Charles Elkan, elkan@cs.ucsd.edu.