Professor Gendler begins with a demonstration of sampling bias and a discussion of the problems it raises for empirical psychology. The lecture then returns to divisions of the soul, focusing on examples from contemporary research. The first are dual-processing accounts of cognition, which are introduced along with a discussion of the Wason selection task and belief biases. Next, the influential research of Kahneman and Tversky on heuristics and biases is introduced alongside the famous Asian disease experiment. Finally, Professor Gendler introduces her own notion of alief and offers several examples that distinguish it from belief.
Philosophy and the Science of Human Nature pairs central texts from Western philosophical tradition (including works by Plato, Aristotle, Epictetus, Hobbes, Kant, Mill, Rawls, and Nozick) with recent findings in cognitive science and related fields. The course is structured around three intertwined sets of topics: Happiness and Flourishing; Morality and Justice; and Political Legitimacy and Social Structures.