College of Arts and Science
The human mind is systematically biased towards illusion, distortion, and error. Failing to recognize one’s own biases, moreover, is a bias in itself – the so-called Blind Spot Bias. PHIL 1159 is an online philosophy course that will provide a comprehensive introduction to cognitive biases, and to the skills that can be used to identify and negotiate their influences on patterns of cognition and behavior. The course will be structured around case studies of particular biases, such as confirmation bias, probability neglect, and overconfidence. The course will employ a variety of instructional materials including popular science articles, essays written by philosophers and psychologists, and video lectures by the instructors and by other researchers. Assignments include discussion board posts, a few short essays, and the creation of argument maps using MindMup, a free, web-based platform developed by researchers at Princeton University. Graded on A-F basis only.