Foundations Of Cognitive Science

Mind Control: Internal or External?

The lecture this week begins to introduce a theme that we will pursue throughout the course: how much of human intelligence is due to external influlences? We begin this theme by considering theories about how man differs from beasts. We consider counter examples to these theories, where social animals seem to control their environment by building impressive artifacts. However, we discover theories that account for this by appealing to the environment, rather than animal rationality. But this raises the key issue: If animal structures can be explained in this way, then is it not possible that human intelligence can be dealt with in the same manner?

The slides for the lecture, in web form and in PDF handout form, are available on the right. There you will also find some links that are relevant to this lecture.