'Social cognition' refers to the cognitive mechanisms that underpin an agent's capacity to effectively navigate situations involving other agents. In this seminar, we will consider some classical philosophical questions that implicate social cognition, as well as contemporary cognitive science that illuminates it. Questions considered include: Do we know that others have minds like ours? If so, how? Are categories like 'belief' and 'desire' scientifically respectable, or should they be replaced with alternative categories derived from scientific investigation? Is social cognition primarily a matter of attributing mental states to predict and explain behavior, or do we more often deploy alternative strategies? What structural differences obtain between human and non-human social cognition, and what experimental methods could we use to determine the differences? How does social cognition develop in infants and young children? What can an understanding of social cognition tell us about broader social issues like political polarization? What can recent work in artificial intelligence teach us about social cognition?
Prerequisite: PNP major in second semester Junior or Senior standing with a 300-level course in philosophy or PNP, graduate standing or the permission of the instructor.
Course Attributes: EN S; AS SSC; FA SSC; AR SSC