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Course Director: Vassilis Papakostopoulos
Course Code: 8154
Educational Units: 4
ECTS Units: 6
Type: Compulsory (C)
Semester: 04 (Spring)
Hours: 4 hours lecture

Cognitive science as a broad field of research that uses resources from psychology, philosophy, linguistics, artificial intelligence and neuroscience is intended to describe the development / evolution of knowledge and to allow the emergence of an operating model of human thought.

Within the course of cognitive science, the emphasis is on understanding the mental activity as it is emerges within different real world domains.

Topics covered in this course include:

  1. Introduction: The history of Cognitive Science
  2. Learning and memory
  3. Pre-planned schemata for action
  4. Representations
  5. Tacit knowledge
  6. Perception and action
  7. Embodied cognition
  8. Cognition in everyday life
  9. Thinking and acting in the wild
  10. Activity and artifacts
  11. Modelling with functional constellation of artifacts
  12. Working communities and practices

The students are able to:

  • Describe the various stratification levels of human behaviour according to the interpretive framework of three major perspectives (i.e. behaviourism, cognitive theory and activity theory) for recognizing the process of generating and developing individual artifacts, and accordingly for observing human activity
  • Describe the notions of “object” (present-at-hand, ready-to-hand), “artifact”, and “constellation of artifacts” as a starting point to approaching complex phenomena like consciousness and intentionality
  • Conduct a naturalistic observation study, by knowing how to design a research protocol and how to determine the proper means for recording human behaviour, based on a thorough understanding of the requirements and specificities of each particular activity field
  • Engage in phenomenological analysis of the observed human behaviour using video recordings, so as to identify human behaviour patterns and units of analysis of these patterns
  • Model human mental activity and the ways in which a specific goal is achieved, with the aim of developing “joint cognitive systems”

- Suggested bibliography:

  • Μερλώ-Πόντυ, Μ. (2016). Φαινομενολογία της Αντίληψης. Κ. Καψαμπέλη (μετ.). Αθήνα: Νήσος.
  • Vygotsky, L.S. (1997). Νους στην Κοινωνία: Η ανάπτυξη των Ανώτερων Ψυχολογικών Διαδικασιών. Σ. Βοσνιάδου (επιμ.). Αθήνα: Gutenberg - Γιώργος & Κώστας Δαρδανός.
  • Hutchins, E. (1995). Cognition in the Wild. London: The MIT Press.
  • Shapiro, L.A. (2011). Embodied Cognition. New York, NY: Routledge.


- Related academic journals:

  • Cognitive Science
  • Trends in Cognitive Science