Kinds of Intelligence Reading Group


Convenor: Dr Henry Shevlin (HPS)

The Kinds of Intelligence reading group meets weekly on Thursdays in term time between 11am-12pm at the Centre for the Future of Intelligence, 16 Mill Lane. Readings are focused on topics in cognitive science, biology, and philosophy of mind, with topics including learning, memory, consciousness, cognition, and perception, understood from an interdisciplinary perspective. Participants from all disciplines are welcome, and while Proceedings are normally followed by an optional lunch. Email Henry Shevlin ( if you are unable to locate any of the readings.

Michaelmas Term 2017 (3 Oct–1 Dec)
Theme: Consciousness and intelligence: origins, varieties, and functions

21 September
Topic: Convergent minds
Powell, Mikhalevich, Logan, & Clayton (2017). Convergent minds: the evolution of cognitive complexity in nature

Supplementary Reading: Logan et al. (2017). Beyond Brain Size.

05 Oct
Topic: Why did consciousness evolve?

Feinberg and Mallatt (2017). The Ancient Origins of Consciousness. Chapters 1 & 10.
Supplementary Reading: Merker (2005). The liabilities of mobility: A selection pressure for the transition to consciousness in animal evolution

12 Oct
Topic: Other minds 1

Godfrey-Smith (2016). Other Minds, Chapters 1 and 4
Supplementary Reading: Cave (2017). What the octopus tells us about human intelligence

19 Oct
Topic: Other minds 2

Godfrey-Smith (2016). Other Minds, Chapters 6 and 7
Supplementary Reading: Halina (forthcoming). Octopuses as conscious exotica

26 Oct
Topic: From perceiving to thinking

Shevlin (in preparation). Perception, cognition, and categorization
Supplementary Reading: Carruthers (2009). Invertebrate concepts confront the generality constraint (and win)

2 Nov
Topic: Classifying kinds of learning
Dennett (1996). Kinds of Minds. Chapters 1 & 6.
Supplementary Reading: Godfrey-Smith (2017). Towers and Trees in Cognitive Evolution

09 Nov
Topic: Bacterial and plant cognition
Lyon (2005). The cognitive cell.
Supplementary Reading: Gagliano et al. (2016). Learning by Association in Plants.

16 Nov
Topic: Insect Consciousness
Barron & Klein (2016). What insects can tell us about the origins of consciousness
Supplementary Reading: Replies by Key, Arlinghaus, & Browman; Adamo; Schilling & Cruse (2016).

23 Nov
Topic: Theories of consciousness
Dehaene, Lau, & Kouider (2017). What is consciousness, and could machines have it?

Monday 27 Nov (Special Session), 11am-1pm
Venue: Imperial College London, 55
4 Huxley building (nearest tube South Kensington or Gloucester Road on the Piccadilly line from King’s Cross).
Topic: From biological to Artificial life
Orallo (2016). The Measure of All Minds: Evaluating Natural and Artificial Intelligence, Ch. 1, 2, and 18.
Lake et al (2016). Building machines that learn and think like people

Lent Term 2018

Topic: Learning, Memory, and Intelligence

Readings TBC


To subscribe to reminders and updates about the Kinds of Intelligence group, please provide your details below. Any information collected will be used for these purposes only and will not be sold or shared with any third party.