Phil/Psych 447, 2010
Seminar in Cognitive Science: Mind and Society
Week 3a: Rational Choice Theory
- What is the appeal of rational choice theories of human behavior?
- What is methodological individidualism and what are its strengths and weaknesses?
- What kinds of psychological evidence count against rational choice theories?
- Can social exchange, collective action, and social structure be fully explained by rational choice theories or by individualist cognitive theories?
- What role should social and ethical norms play in explaining individual and social behaviors?
- Can the method of multilevel interactive mechanisms overcome the limitations of rational choice theories?
- Is rational choice theory inherently conservative or can it be used to foster social change?
Week 3b: Postmodernism
- Why has postmodernism been so influential in the study of literature, culture, and society?
- Why are postmodernists skeptical about "grand narratives" such as science and traditional philosophy?
- Why is power a central idea for postmodernism and how is it applied?
- What would a postmodernist say about the method of multilevel interactive mechanisms?
- Does postmodernism serve to explain cultural developments or only describe them?
- Does postmodernism foster or inhibit social change?
Postmodernist generator: http://www.elsewhere.org/pomo/
Week 4: Neuroeconomics
Note: no class Tuesday Oct. 5.
- How does neuroeconomics challenge rational choice approaches to economics?
- Can neuroeconomics explain social phenomena such as power?
- Does neuroeconomics mess well with traditional cognitive psychology?
- What roles to emotions play in economics decisions and social actions?
- What are selves and persons from the perspective of neuroeconomics?
- Does neuroeconomics foster or inhibit social change?
This page updated Sept. 27, 2010