822189 :Ethics and Philosophy of Science


Voertaal Engels
Werkvorm: Seminars (Collegerooster)
Tentamenvorm: Written exam and praticum (Geen informatie over tentamendata bekend)
Studielast:6 ECTS credits
Inschrijving:Enrollment via Blackboard before start of lectures
Blackboard informatieniet beschikbaar in Blackboard


prof. dr. M.M.S.K. Sie

dr. T.R. Wells

Doel van de cursus (alleen in het Engels beschikbaar)

Upon conclusion of the course you will be able to:

  1. Describe some of the central issues in the philosophical discussion on cognition.
  2. Describe and discuss some of the central philosophical and normative challenges that new developments in artificial intelligence and cognitive science presents us with.
  3. Reconstruct the key arguments provided in the discussions referred to in 1+2.
  4. Debate possible answers to some of the philosophical and normative challenges.
  5. Know how to evaluate and examine the key issues referred to in 1+2 in light of the wider philosophical and ethical discussion.
  6. Discuss some of the strengths and weaknesses of the theories discussed in the course.

Inhoud van de cursus (alleen in het Engels beschikbaar)

Artificial intelligence is an extraordinarily exciting and fast-moving field with huge implications for human society. This course gives you the tools to step back from the buzz and think clearly about what is really going on, and what risks as well as benefits this new technology may bring. In the first 3/4 lectures/seminars of this course we examine what it is exactly that cognitive science and artificial intelligence investigate under the heading of ‘cognition.’ We discuss several different ways in which we can approach that question centring around the notion of ‘information-processing’ and ‘understanding’ and discussing the role of the body and what we can learn from cognitive malfunctioning. Next we discuss possible (philosophical) implications of insights cognitive science has brought us that might be of wider societal importance; we focus on free will, moral responsibility and the role of emotions and deliberations in (moral) decision-making (4 lectures/seminar). In the second half of the course we continue with discussing 3 or 4 cases in which the themes discussed in the first half return, such as, are we morally responsible for the ways in which the technical tools (such as the artificially intelligent machines) we develop affect our society and lives? How does the possibility to act at a distance, e.g. with the use of drones, change our individual relation to our actions? How should we think about ‘collective knowledge’ (big data) and the ethical issues surrounding it?

With respect to occupational orientation, in this course, students discuss conceptual and ethical challenges related to technological developments and learn how to evaluate and discuss them in an academically responsible way, allowing for and addressing dissenting positions and evaluations.

Bijzonderheden (alleen in het Engels beschikbaar)

Final written exam (70%) and in course assignments (30%) Take note: extra requirement is an active participation during seminars.

This is entirely a seminar course, meaning that all classes are highly interactive. Instead of lectures, students discuss readings, make presentations, and so on. under the guidance of the instructor. Thus, classes are not merely a place to pick up information that you could also find in a book. They are also a collective exercise: other students’ learning depends on the quality of contributions that you make. For these reasons, active participation during class and attendance will be monitored and considered in determining your final grade.
Verplichte literatuur

  1. Will be announced through blackboard before the start of the course

Verplicht voor

  • Bachelor CIW: Cognitive Science and Artificial Intelligence ( 2017 )