The course looks at the relation between language and the human mind/brain. In particular, it studies properties of natural language as parts of a self-contained abstract system and how it is related to the physical human brain as well as to certain aspects of human cognition such as rationality, perceptual and computation capacity. It considers the extent to which individual cognition bears on cultural values of a community and how language expresses those values. Upon completion of the course, the students would understand themselves and the community they are a part of better and be able to interact with each other in a meaningful way.
Apart from selected readings from textbooks and articles, the students would have a chance to work together in small groups on questionnaires polling opinions of human subjects about specific problems. To ensure individual merits, quizzes and written assignments will be given.