(CGSC 491 in Spring 2016)


I am currently an Assistant Professor of Social Sciences at Minerva, and so this page is in need of updating.

Below, please find some materials from a series of cognitive science seminars I designed and taught at Yale.

Fall 2017

Theories of Human Uniqueness
An overview of several theories of human uniqueness. Foundational topics including human language vs. animal communication, human moral psychology vs. animal social behavior, and transmission of human culture vs. intergenerational learning in animals. Debates including how theories of human uniqueness relate to each other, and whether any constitute a categorical difference between human and nonhuman animals.
Current Research in Cognitive Science (CGSC 390)
This seminar discusses historically important papers in cognitive science, as well as recently published work. Topics are varied and reflect student interests. Some attention is paid to planning for the senior project. It is intended for juniors in the Cognitive Science major.

Spring 2018

Junior Colloquium in Cognitive Science (CGSC 395)
This course is required of all Juniors at Yale who are majoring in Cognitive Science. It is a survey of contemporary issues and current research in cognitive science, and highlights guest speakers from diverse departments. By the end of the term, students select a research topic for the senior essay.
Senior Thesis Workshop in Cognitive Science (CGSC 491)
This course is required of all Seniors at Yale who are majoring in Cognitive Science. It is a research colloquium leading to the completion of the senior essay. Each student presents their work once during the semester, and submits a rough draft of their thesis in March. Each student comments on the presentations, and provides anonymous peer reviews of three of their classmates' drafts.


The Evolution of Morality (CGSC/PSYC 406)
[Most recently taught Fall 2016.] The evolution of moral judgment and behavior. Foundational topics include competing characterizations of moral cognition, inclusive fitness, and literature on cross-cultural universals and differences. Debates include how much of adult morality is early-emerging in development vs. a late-emerging product that relies heavily on learning, the presence of morality in other species, and the relationship between the evolution of morality and the evolution of religious belief.