Programs offered by NCU’s Institute of Philosophy are realized in accordance with Bologna system. The Institute offers a three-year program in Philosophy (available specializations: General Philosophy and Social Communication) that ends with obtaining Bachelor of Arts degree, as well as two-year, post-graduate program that ends with obtaining master’s degree. Most persistent and advanced adepts of philosophical knowledge may also choose to pursue a four-year PhD program and receive the doctor’s degree. The Institute also offers a three-year program and two-year postgraduate program in Cognitive Science.
Cognitive science is relatively new, yet rapidly developing and very well founded scientific discipline. It aims at achieving scientific, empirically grounded insight into the nature of mind and cognitive processes, as well as into the problem of how the biological brain realizes cognitive processes. Therefore, the purpose of cognitive scientific research is to enable us to understand the nature of such mental functions as, for example, perception, thinking, memory, concepts, imagery, empathy or consciousness. Cognitive scientists not only develop purely psychological theories of those functions, but at the same time they attempt to uncover their neural basis as well as develop computational models that could eventually enable us do design artificial systems that would resemble the human mind. Such a wide perspective is closely tied to the interdisciplinary nature of cognitive science. The very emergence of cognitive science as autonomous branch of science was the result of universal recognition that understanding something as complex as the mind should require trespassing the boundaries of just one scientific discipline. Therefore, cognitive science integrates results from such disciplines as psychology (developmental, cognitive, evolutionary), neurobiology, applied computer science, artificial intelligence or linguistics.
Studying cognitive science at NCU’s Institute of Philosophy not only gives one the opportunity to learn about its’ latest theoretical achievements, but also to gain the abilities required to perform empirical cognitive scientific research using the most advanced methods and techniques available. Currently, an Interdisciplinary Center of Modern Technologies is being built in Toruń and it is intended to grant the scientists and students access to well equipped laboratories and enable them to use the newest research techniques, such as neural imaging. The teaching staff is composed of some of the best cognitive scientists in Poland. Moreover, the Institute is regularly visited by top-class cognitive scientists from universities of Europe and United States, who come to Toruń to give lectures and lead workshops for the students. Also worth mentioning is the cyclical series of international, prestigous conferences called “Cognitivist Autumn in Toruń”.
Philosophical studies are above all addressed to inquisitive and critical minds, eager to undertake the challenge of providing answers to questions of this sort. Studying philosophy at NCU’s Institute of Philosophy not only enables one to get acquainted with how the greatest philosophers in history answered great questions, but also provides one with intellectual tools required to attempt at formulating answers of one’s own. The teaching staff is composed of specialists in different branches of philosophy who are able to share their passion and inspire the student to take on philosophical research. NCU’s Institute of Philosophy specializes, among others, in such areas as:
- philosophy of culture and politics,
- axiological-ethical research, mostly focused on bioethics and the philosophy of evil,
- history of ancient Greek philosophy,
- history of German philosophy (the Institute might be considered as the most prominent Polish academic unit when it comes to study of Immanuel Kant’s thought),
- philosophy of science (methodology, social studies of science and technology),
- philosophy of mind and philosophy of cognitive science.