Introduction to philosophy

For many years, from 1997 to 2012, I taught a lecture course in the School of Computer Science at the University of Birmingham entitled "Philosophy of Cognitive Science". I had no particular interest in cognitive science or its philosophy, but I was interested in epistemology and the philosophy of science. So, I used this course to introduce students to some basic philosophical and methodological ideas that I found interesting and that I thought they would find useful. Being heavily influenced by Karl Popper and William Warren Bartley, III, the course presented philosophical ideas from the perspective of critical rationalism.

The course comprised ten fifty-minute lectures. In the first lecture I explained how the course was assessed. The second lecture was on cognitive science and the third was a brief introduction to philosophy in general. There then followed a lecture on the philosophy of mind and after that a whole lecture was devoted to the topic of definition. Following that there was a lecture on Popper's approach to the philosophy of science and the remaining lectures were devoted to testimony; I presented my anti-justificationist, two-mode theory of testimony in considerable detail.

© Antoni Diller (31 March 2014)