Knowledge & Action

This course is taught jointly with W. Wilutzky and S. Fink.

`Knowledge and action are the central relations between mind and world. In action, world is adapted to mind. In knowledge, mind is adapted to world. When world is maladapted to mind, there is a residue of desire. When mind is maladapted to world, there is a residue of belief. Desire aspires to action; belief aspires to knowledge. The point of desire is action; the point of belief is knowledge.' (Timothy Williamson: Knowledge \& Its Limits, OUP: 2002, p. 1)

Are knowledge and action as distinct as Williamson makes them out to be? Are they related only in the way they adapt to each other, or is the connection between the two even more intimate? Do the answers to these questions maybe vary with respect to different kinds of knowledge?

In this course, we will introduce the concepts as they are used in particular contexts within Cognitive Science and shed light on several facets of the connection between them. By approaching the issue from rather different perspectives - mainly philosophy of mind and artificial intelligence - we hope to develop a better understanding of these concepts in general and, in particular, the relation between them.

The seminar will consist of student presentations, discussions during the meetings, and several guest features by researchers and scholars from other disciplines of Cognitive Science, who will contribute their ideas in short presentations and enrich the discussions through their expert opinions.