INS301 - Introduction to the Cognitive Sciences

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Last revision date Mar 16, 2020 8:48:44 AM
Last review date Mar 16, 2020 8:49:36 AM

Subject Title
Introduction to the Cognitive Sciences

Subject Description
Although philosophers have considered the nature of the mind for millennia, a new interdisciplinary approach developed in the 20th century: cognitive science. After millennia of study, the problems remained the same: Is the mind different from the brain? What is consciousness? How can I tell if other people have minds? Is it possible to create an artificial intelligence? Are humans truly rational? Cognitive science includes approaches from computer science, linguistics, anthropology, philosophy and psychology in an attempt to answer these ancient questions. Students will be introduced to central themes in cognitive science by reading key articles and excerpts from books from important cognitive scientists across the various disciplines.

Credit Status
Upper-level social science elective course for students in the Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies degree program; also a Liberal Studies Option (LSO) for Seneca degree students.

Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this subject the student will be able to:

-identify the content of arguments and perspectives within the readings
-apply the terminology and methodology of argument within one’s written work
-demonstrate an understanding of the challenges surrounding theories of cognition and the reasons behind the interdisciplinary approach
-compare competing theories of human cognition within the disciplines of cognitive science
-evaluate claims made in various cognitive science articles through reflections and essays
-argue a perspective that reflects the content and challenges in the cognitive sciences within one’s written work

Essential Employability Skills
Communicate clearly, concisely and correctly in the written, spoken and visual form that fulfils the purpose and meets the needs of the audience.

Respond to written, spoken, or visual messages in a manner that ensures effective communication.

Apply a systematic approach to solve problems.

Use a variety of thinking skills to anticipate and solve problems.

Locate, select, organize, and document information using appropriate technology and information systems.

Analyze, evaluate, and apply relevant information from a variety of sources.

Show respect for diverse opinions, values, belief systems, and contributions of others.

Manage the use of time and other resources to complete projects.

Take responsibility for one's own actions, decisions, and consequences.

Academic Integrity
Seneca upholds a learning community that values academic integrity, honesty, fairness, trust, respect, responsibility and courage. These values enhance Seneca's commitment to deliver high-quality education and teaching excellence, while supporting a positive learning environment. Ensure that you are aware of Seneca's Academic Integrity Policy which can be found at: Review section 2 of the policy for details regarding approaches to supporting integrity. Section 2.3 and Appendix B of the policy describe various sanctions that can be applied, if there is suspected academic misconduct (e.g., contract cheating, cheating, falsification, impersonation or plagiarism).

Please visit the Academic Integrity website to understand and learn more about how to prepare and submit work so that it supports academic integrity, and to avoid academic misconduct.

All students and employees have the right to study and work in an environment that is free from discrimination and/or harassment. Language or activities that defeat this objective violate the College Policy on Discrimination/Harassment and shall not be tolerated. Information and assistance are available from the Student Conduct Office at

Accommodation for Students with Disabilities
The College will provide reasonable accommodation to students with disabilities in order to promote academic success. If you require accommodation, contact the Counselling and Accessibility Services Office at ext. 22900 to initiate the process for documenting, assessing and implementing your individual accommodation needs.