Philosophy of cognitive science


The cognitive sciences lie at the interface between the natural sciences and the social sciences. The use of the plural "cognitive sciences" is meant to indicate the variety of special methods used for investigating a variety of phenomena such as e.g., the human language faculty, human reasoning abilities, developmental psychology in several cognitive domains, the distinctive brain areas involved in planning action and in different perceptual tasks, human attention, the different human memory systems, and so on and so forth. The use of the singular "cognitive science" is meant to indicate the general purpose of coming to a scientific understanding of the human brain and human cognition. The philosophy of cognitive science, which is part of the humanities, probes the conceptual grounds and consequences of experimental findings in the scientific investigation of human cognition and the human brain. My contributions to the philosophy of cognitive science address issues in the study of the human language faculty, the cognitive neuroscience of vision and action, human social cognition and human moral cognition. While the social sciences and the humanities make a liberal use of the concept of mental and non-mental representation as part of their explanations of human actions, this concept is completely absent from the repertoire of the natural sciences. I take it that one of the major questions (if not the major question) for the philosophy of cognitive science is whether appeal to mental representations can play a legitimate causal explanatory role in cognitive scientific investigations of the human brain, human cognition and human behavior.


 The Human language faculty  Cognitive neuroscience of vision and action  Social cognition  Moral Cognition