The main initial objective is to think intensively about previous knowledge and academic interests in order to reorganize it all in such a way that it may be clearly included in a theoretical and methodological framework which avoids confusion of ideas.
From this new perspective, the postgraduate student will be given the opportunity to start an individual piece of research that might ultimately become a doctoral thesis.
This research will be tutored by a teacher of the programme during the first period and will be included in one of the research lines offered in the second year. The current status of cognitive theories is perhaps the most widely spread through the web and permits online access to the most up-to-date papers and even doctoral theses under preparation.
Interests of cognitive theories of language
Cognitive scientists are interested in the nature of the human mind – basically, we ask how humans think. This is a huge question, and has been addressed in one way or another by many academic fields. Cognitive Science tries to unite work from many different fields, including computer science, neuroscience, psychology, linguistics, philosophy, music, and literary theory. In this course, we’ll get a basic introduction to some of the topics that are central to human cognition, such as intelligence, categorization, language, and creativity. We’ll ask what can be gained by taking an integrated, cognitive scientific approach to these topics.
Relationship between the PhD programme and the Research Group
The main research lines of the PhD programme coincide with those of the University Official Research Group on Cognitive Poetics, whose members and contents are available at the university website (Vicerrectorado de Investigación y Desarrollo Tecnológico > Grupos de Investigación).
The term Poetics is of vital significance as a synonym for theory or system of minds, signs, languages, communication and culture. Unlike the traditional literary sense of poetics, we propose that Cognitive Poetics is synonymous with semiotically-based cognitive system.
A new view on cognition
The new alliance between natural and human sciences and the future of the European Space of Education and Culture have contributed to a new perspective on human cognition. This novel view on the Humanities makes us participate in their philological, ontological and epistemological contents as creative agents and processing minds of their meanings.
Today, it is impossible to develop the richness of the Humanities without integrating the most advanced scientific progress on the human being.
The main advantage of this programme might be its monographic nature. This condition permits specialization and avoids confusion of ideas. The programme offers the possibility to re-conceptualize our interests within the new and fresh framework of cognitive theories.
The Cognitive Paradigm
The study units of the programme are at the basis of our training as civilized human beings. They are the earliest but also the most modern issues in the light of cognitive research.
The cognitive paradigm can give an answer to the following questions: How do we think? How do we reason through problems? How do we use our mental resources? How do we perceive the world around us? How do we recall past experiences? How do we describe the world with language? What is fiction? Where does mathematics come from? What is scientific imagination? What is the cognitive nature of ethics or aesthetics, of political parties, of concepts and religious discourses, of mass media, of advertising language and images? How does the fundamental creativity of experience work? How do we process a sentence? How do we recall something? What is the similarity between a natural conversation and a dramatic text? What is improvisation in linguistic terms? What is narrative imagination as a cognitive process? If metaphor is not now what it was years ago, what is really metaphor? Why and for what is metaphor used by all language speakers and not only Quevedo, Bach, Winston Churchill or Charles Darwin?