Law Course Catalog

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7895. Law and Cognition

2.00 credits

Prerequisites: None.

Grading Basis: Graded

Cognitive science is the study of mind. It bridges such fields as psychology, philosophy, artificial intelligence, linguistics, and neuroscience. This course will orient students to various facets of cognitive science that are relevant to learning, practicing, and thinking about law. Representative topics will include dual process theories of cognition, perception and visual processing (and their relevance to advocacy skills), inferential reasoning in linguistics as applied to legal texts, human and machine consciousness (can computers perform legal reasoning?), and free will as it relates to criminal law. Students should expect this seminar to expose and destabilize assumptions that lawyers make many legally relevant concepts, among them personhood (how we understand persons as the agents and the subjects of legal reasoning), rationality, and neutrality.