Hungary, Budapest

Cognitive Phenomenology

when 8 July 2019 - 17 July 2019
language English
duration 2 weeks
credits 1.5 EC
fee EUR 400

The course is designed to familiarize participants with the increasingly influential, though still controversial thesis that thinking is a kind of experience, and that conceptual mental content is constituted by a proprietary, sui generis kind of non-sensory phenomenology. In addition to the familiar sensory kinds of experience – visual, auditory, olfactory, etc., there is, according to this view, a cognitive kind of phenomenology. Just as there is “something it’s like” to have visual, auditory, etc. experiences, there is something it’s like to think. And just as differences in visual, auditory, etc. phenomenology distinguish states of those proprietary kinds one from the other, differences cognitive phenomenology distinguish thoughts one from the other.

Topics to be covered in the course include: arguments for the existence of cognitive phenomenology; skepticism about cognitive phenomenology; the significance of cognitive phenomenology; the integration of cognitive experience with sensory experience; the relation of thought experience to the experience of belief, desire, hope, etc.; the temporality of thought; the epistemic role of consciousness; the epistemic and rational roles of cognitive experience; the problem of unconscious thought; mainstream externalism about mental content; singular thought; the “Phenomenal Intentionality” research program; and the relation of current work in analytic phenomenology to traditional, Husserlian Phenomenology.

Course leader

David Pitt, Department of Philosophy, California State University, Los Angeles, USA

Target group

Applications are invited from MA and PhD students, recent graduates, lecturers, and tenure-track (and tenured) faculty. Undergraduates will not be considered.

Course aim

The course is designed to expose participants to the latest research from leading figures in the “Phenomenal Intentionality” program, which seeks to ground human mentality in conscious experience – especially the part of that program that is concerned with the role of consciousness in human thought and intelligence. This program is in opposition to the currently orthodox view of the mind (in philosophy and artificial intelligence) is an information-processing machine, operating on symbolic structures with no intrinsic meaning. It insists that thought and intelligence require understanding, and that understanding is impossible without conscious awareness. The central goals of the course are to provide participants – especially those in the early stages of their careers – with a thorough understanding of current, cutting-edge work, and to encourage and support them in the development their own views on the topics of thought, consciousness and the nature of intelligence. Engagement with the instructors, and each other, in serious, sustained, critical discussion of the issues will give participants a thorough understanding of this emerging research program within analytic philosophy of mind, and, hopefully, have a positive impact on their professional prospects.

Credits info

1.5 EC
CEU Summer University also awards a certificate of attendance upon successful completion of the course. In order to gain this certificate, participants will be expected to attend and actively participate in all classes and complete assignments required by the course.

Fee info

EUR 400: payable until May 25, 2019
EUR 360: payable until March 30, 2019


A limited number of tuition fee waivers may be applied for.