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The Philosophy of Cognitive Science


If the Trade Descriptions Act were applied to academic labels, cognitive scientists would be in trouble. For what they do is much wider than the name suggests—and wider, too, than most philosophers assume. They give you more for your money than you may have expected.

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1 Haugeland J., Artificial Intelligence: The Very Idea (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1985).

2 For example, Simon H. A., ‘Motivational and Emotional Controls of Cognition’, Psychological Review, 74 (1967), 2939; Reitman W. R., Cognition and Thought: An Information-Processing Approach (New York: Wiley, 1965).

3 For example, Damasio A., Descartes' Error: Emotion, Reason, and the Human Brain (New York: Putnam, 1994).

4 Tomkins S. S. and Messick S. (eds), Computer Simulation of Personality: Frontier of Psychological Research (New York: Wiley, 1963); Boden M. A., Artificial Intelligence and Natural Man, 2nd edn., enlarged (London: MIT Press, 1987), chaps. 2–4.

5 For example, Sloman A., ‘Motives, Mechanisms, and Emotions’, Cognition and Emotion, 1 (1987), 217233. Reprinted in M. A. Boden (ed.), The Philosophy of Artificial Intelligence (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1990), pp. 231–247; Sloman A., ‘Architectural Requirements for Human-like Agents Both Natural and Artificial. (What sorts of machines can love?)’. In Dautenhahn K. (ed.), Human Cognition and Social Agent Technology: Advances in Consciousness Research (Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 1999), pp. 163195; Simon H. A., ‘Bottleneck of Attention: Connecting Thought with Motivation’. In Spaulding W. D. (ed.), Integrative Views of Motivation, Cognition, and Emotion (Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press, 1994), pp. 121.

6 Wright I. P., Sloman A. and Beaudoin L. P., ‘Towards a Design-Based Analysis of Emotional Episodes’, Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology, 3 (1996), 101137.

7 Wright I. P., Emotional Agents. PhD thesis, School of Computer Science, University of Birmingham (1997). (Available at; Wright I. P. and Sloman A., MINDER1: An Implementation of a Protoemotional Agent Architecture. Technical Report CSRP-97–1, School of Computer Science, University of Birmingham (1997). (Available from

8 McCulloch W. S. and Pitts W. H., ‘A Logical Calculus of the Ideas Immanent in Nervous Activity’, Bulletin of Mathematical Biophysics, 5 (1943), 115133. Reprinted in Boden, Philosophy of Artificial Intelligence, pp. 22–39.

9 Putnam H., ‘Minds and Machines’. In Hook S. (ed.), Dimensions of Mind: A Symposium (New York: New York University Press, 1960), pp. 148179. Reprinted in H. Putnam, Mind, Language, and Reality: Philosophical Papers, Volume 2 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1975), pp. 362–385; Putnam H., ‘The Nature of Mental States’. First published as ‘Psychological Predicates’ in Capitan W. H. and Merrill D. (eds), Art, Mind, and Religion (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1967), pp. 3748. Reprinted in Putnam, Mind, Language, and Reality, pp. 429–440.

10 Newell A. and Simon H. A., ‘Computer Science as Empirical Enquiry: Symbols and Search’, Communications of the Association for Computing Machinery, 19 (1976), 113126. Reprinted in Boden, Philosophy of Artificial Intelligence, pp. 105–132; Newell A., ‘Physical Symbol Systems’, Cognitive Science, 4 (1980), 135183.

11 Newell A. and Simon H. A., Human Problem Solving (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1972).

12 Marr D., Vision: A Computational Investigation into the Human Representation and Processing of Visual Information (San Francisco; Freeman, 1982).

13 Bechtel W. and Mundale J., ‘Multiple Realizability Revisited: Linking Cognitive and Neural States’, Philosophy of Science, 66 (1999), 175207.

14 Lettvin J. Y., Maturana H. R., McCulloch W. S. and Pitts W. H.. ‘What the Frog's Eye Tells the Frog's Brain’, Proceedings of the Institute of Radio Engineers, 47, 1940–1959 (1959). Reprinted in W. S. McCulloch, Embodiments of Mind (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1965), pp. 230–255; compare Selfridge O. G., ‘Pandemonium: A Paradigm for Learning’. In Blake D. V. and Uttley A. M. (eds), Proceedings of the Symposium on Mechanisation of Thought Processes (London: H. M. Stationery Office, 1959), pp. 511529.

15 Fodor J. A., The Modularity of Mind: An Essay in Faculty Psychology (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1983).

16 Newell and Simon, Human Problem Solving; Newell and Simon, ‘Computer Science as Empirical Enquiry’; Fodor J. A., Psychological Explanation: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Psychology (New York: Random House, 1968); Fodor J. A., The Language of Thought (Hassocks, Sussex: Harvester Press, 1976); Pylyshyn Z. W., ‘Computation and Cognition: Issues in the Foundations of Cognitive Science’, Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 3 (1980), 111132; Pylyshyn Z. W., Computation and Cognition: Toward a Foundation for Cognitive Science (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1984).

17 Boden M. A., Computer Models of Mind: Computational Approaches in Theoretical Psychology (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988), pp. 2744.

18 Clark A., Being There: Putting Brain, Body, and World Together Again (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1997).

19 Hinton G. E., McClelland J. L. and Rumelhart D. E., ‘Distributed Representations’. In Rumelhart D. E. & McClelland J. E. (eds), Parallel Distributed Processing: Explorations in the Microstructure of Cognition, Vol. 1, Foundations (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1986), pp. 77109. Reprinted in Boden, Philosophy of Artificial Intelligence, pp. 248–280.

20 Clark A. and Grush R., ‘Towards a Cognitive Robotics’, Adaptive Behavior, 7 (1999), 1516.

21 Clark A. and Wheeler M., ‘Genic Representation: Reconciling Content and Causal Complexity’, British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, 50 (1999), 103135.

22 Hinton et al., ‘Distributed Representations’; Clark A. J., Microcognition: Philosophy, Cognitive Science, and Parallel Distributed Processing (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1989); A. Cussins, ‘The Connectionist Construction of Concepts’. In Boden, Philosophy of Artificial Intelligence, pp. 368–440.

23 Freyd J. J., ‘Dynamic Mental Representations’, Psychological Review, 94 (1987), 427438; Miller G. F. and Freyd J. J., Dynamic Mental Representations of Animate Motion: The Interplay Among Evolutionary, Cognitive, and Behavioral Dynamics. Cognitive Science Research Paper CSRP–290 (Brighton: University of Sussex, 1993).

24 Boden, Artificial Intelligence and Natural Man, chaps. 8 & 9.

25 Hayes P. J., ‘The Naive Physics Manifesto’. In Michie D. (ed.), Expert Systems in the Micro-Electronic Age (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1979), pp. 242270. Reprinted in Boden, Philosophy of Artificial Intelligence, pp. 171–205; Pylyshyn Z. W. (ed.) The Robot's Dilemma: The Frame Problem in Artificial Intelligence (Norwood, NJ: Ablex, 1987).

26 Brooks R. A., ‘Intelligence Without RepresentationArtificial Intelligence, 47 (1991), 139159.

27 Agre P. E., The Dynamic Structure of Everyday Life. PhD dissertation, Dept. of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science. (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT, 1988); Agre P. E., Computation and Human Experience (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997); compare Suchman L. A., Plans and Situated Actions: The Problem of Human-Machine Communication (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1987).

28 Dreyfus H. L., ‘Why Computers Must Have Bodies in Order to be Intelligent’, Review of Metaphysics, 21 (1967), 1332; Dreyfus H. L., What Computers Can't Do: A Critique of Artificial Reason (New York: Harper & Row, 1972).

29 Vera A. H. and Simon H. A., ‘Situated Action: A Symbolic Interpretation’, Cognitive Science, 17 (1993), 748; Kirsh D., ‘Today the Earwig, Tomorrow Man?’, Artificial Intelligence, 47 (1991), 161184. Reprinted in M. A. Boden, The Philosophy of Artificial Life (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996), pp. 237–261.

30 Brooks, ‘Intelligence Without Representation’, Artificial Intelligence, 47, 139159.

31 Beer R. D., Intelligence as Adaptive Behavior: An Experiment in Computational Neuroethology (Boston: Academic Press, 1990); Beer R. D., ‘Computational and Dynamical Languages for Autonomous Agents’. In Port R. F. & van Gelder T. J. (eds), Mind as Motion: Explorations in the Dynamics of Cognition (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1995), pp. 121148.

32 Hendriks-Jansen H., Catching Ourselves in the Act: Situated Activity, Interactive Emergence, Evolution, and Human Thought (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1996).

33 M. Wheeler, ‘From Robots to Rothko: The Bringing Forth of Worlds’. In Boden, Philosophy of Artificial Life, pp. 209–236; Wheeler M., Reconstructing the Cognitive World: the Next Step (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, in press).

34 Fodor J. A., ‘Methodological Solipsism Considered as a Research Strategy in Cognitive Psychology’, Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 3 (1980), 6372. Reprinted in J. A. Fodor, Representations: Philosophical Essays on the Foundations of Cognitive Science (Brighton: Harvester Press, 1981), pp. 225–253.

35 Newell and Simon, Human Problem Solving.

36 Hollis M., Models of Man: Philosophical Thoughts on Social Action (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1977).

37 Putnam H., ‘The Meaning of “Meaning”’. In Gunderson K. (ed.), Language, Mind, and Knowledge, Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science, VII (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1975). Reprinted in Putnam, Mind, Language, and Reality, pp. 215–271; see p. 219.

38 Clark, Being There; Clark A. and Chalmers D. J., ‘The Extended Mind’, Analysis, 58 (1998), 719.

39 Hutchins E., Cognition in the Wild (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1995).

40 Turing A. M., ‘On Computable Numbers with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem’, Proceedings of the London Mathematical Society, 42 (1936), 230265. Reprinted in M. Davis (ed.), The Undecidable: Basic Papers on Undecidable Propositions, Unsolvable Problems, and Computable Functions (Hewlett, NY: Raven Press, 1965), pp. 116–153.

41 Putnam, ‘Minds and Machines’.

42 Fodor, ‘Methodological Solipsism Considered as a Research Strategy’.

43 Searle J. R., ‘Minds, Brains, and Programs’, Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 3 (1980), 417424. Reprinted in Boden, Philosophy of Artificial Intelligence, pp. 67–88.

44 van Gelder T. J., ‘What Might Cognition Be If Not Computation? Journal of Philosophy, 92 (1995), 345–81.

45 R. L. Chrisley, ‘Transparent Computationalism’, In M. Scheutz (ed.), Proceedings of the Workshop ‘New Trends in Cognitive Science 1999: Computationalism—The Next Generation’. To appear in Conceptus Studien Sonderheft (in press).

46 Newell and Simon, ‘Computer Science as Empirical Enquiry’; Newell ‘Physical Symbol Systems’.

47 Smith B. C., Reflection and Semantics in a Procedural Language. PhD dissertation and Technical Report LCS/TR-272 (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT, 1982).

48 Smith B. C., On the Origin of Objects (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1996).

49 Godfrey-Smith P., ‘Spencer and Dewey on Life and Mind’. In Brooks R. A. & Maes P. (eds), Artificial Life IV (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1994), pp. 8089. Reprinted in Boden, Philosophy of Artificial Life, pp. 314–331.

50 Millikan R. G., Language, Thought, and Other Biological Categories (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1984).

51 Searle, ‘Minds, Brains, and Programs’.

52 Harvey I. P., Husbands P. and Cliff D., ‘Seeing the Light: Artificial Evolution, Real Vision’. In Cliff D., Husbands P., Meyer J.-A. & Wilson S. W. (eds), From Animals to Animats 3: Proceedings of the Third International Conference on Simulation of Adaptive Behavior (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1994) pp. 392401; Husbands P., Harvey I. and Cliff D., ‘Circle in the Round: State Space Attractors for Evolved Sighted Robots’, Robotics and Autonomous Systems, 15 (1995), 83106.

53 Langton C. G., ‘Artificial Life’, In Langton C. G. (ed.), Artificial Life: Proceedings of an Interdisciplinary Workshop on the Synthesis and Simulation of Living Systems (Redwood City, Calif.: Addison-Wesley, 1989). Reprinted (revised) in Boden, Philosophy of Artificial Life, pp. 39–94; T. S. Ray, ‘An Approach to the Synthesis of Life’. In C. G. Langton, C. Taylor, J. D. Farmer & S. Rasmussen (eds), Artificial Life II (Redwood City, Calif.: Addison-Wesley, 1992) pp. 371–408. Reprinted in Boden, Philosophy of Artificial Life, pp. 111–145.

54 Maturana H. R. and Varela F. J., Autopoiesis and Cognition: The Realization of the Living (Boston: Reidel, 1980). (First published in Spanish, 1972.)

55 Boden M. A., ‘Autopoiesis and Life’, Cognitive Science Quarterly, 1 (2000), 115143.

56 M. A. Bedau, ‘The Nature of Life’. In Boden, Philosophy of Artificial Life, pp. 332–357.

57 Boden M. A., ‘Is Metabolism Necessary?’, British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, 50:2 (1999), 231248.

58 See M. A. Boden, Cognitive Science in Context: A Historical Perspective. In preparation; to be published by Oxford University Press.

59 Dennett D. C., Consciousness Explained (London: Allen Lane, 1991). See also Dennett's chapter in this volume.

60 A. Sloman, ‘Architectural Requirements’. In Dautenhahn, Human Cognition and Social Agent Technology, pp. 163–195.

61 Boden M. A., ‘Consciousness and Human Identity: An Interdisciplinary Perspective’. In Cornwell J. (ed.), Consciousness and Human Identity (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998) pp. 120.

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