I have posted here material that will not be published but which might be useful to someone. Please feel free to make use of this material, although I’d be grateful if you acknowledge the attribution if you do so.

Representation in Cognitive Science

In 2022–23, I taught a graduate course on Nick Shea’s excellent book, Representation in Cognitive Science. While working through the book, I wrote a guide that tries to simplify what is going on. I have linked below to this reader’s guide and to slides of my initial lecture which introduces the problem of representation:

Reader's guide to Shea's book Representation in Cognitive Science  PDF
Introductory lecture on the problem of representation  PDF

Cognitive science lectures

During the covid pandemic, I created a bunch of short introductory videos for Cognitive Science year 1 students. These might be useful if you are starting out in this area.

Nativism and Empiricism

  1. Introduction   (7 min)
  2. What are nativism & empiricism?   (9 min)
  3. Real-world nativism & empiricism   (8 min)
  4. Examples of nativism & empiricism   (17 min)


  1. Introduction   (13 min)
  2. Representation in the brain   (9 min)
  3. Representation in computers   (6 min)
  4. Questions about representation   (7 min)

Situated cognition

  1. Introduction   (6 min)
  2. Examples of situated cognition   (13 min)
  3. Thinking about situated cognition   (9 min)
  4. Natural-born cyborgs   (14 min)