Current Controversies in Philosophy of Cognitive Science
Cognitive science is the study of minds and mental processes. Psychology, neuroscience, computer science, and philosophy, among other subdisciplines, contribute to this study. In this volume, leading researchers debate five core questions in the philosophy of cognitive science:
- Is an innate Universal Grammar required to explain our linguistic capacities?
- Are concepts innate or learned?
- What role do our bodies play in cognition?
- Can neuroscience help us understand the mind?
- Can cognitive science help us understand human morality?
For each topic, the volume provides two essays, each advocating for an opposing approach. The editors provide study questions and suggested readings for each topic, helping to make the volume accessible to readers who are new to the debates.
Table of Contents
Part I: Is there a Universal Grammar?
1. Universal Grammar Paul Pietroski and Norbert Hornstein
2. Waiting for Universal Grammar Geoff Pullum
Part II: Are all concepts learned?
3. Beyond origins: Developmental pathways and the dynamics of brain network Linda B. Smith, Lisa Byrge & Olaf Sporns
4. The Metaphysics of Developing Cognitive Systems: Why the Brain Cannot Replace the Mind Mark Fedyk and Fei Xu
Part III: What is the role of the body in cognition?
5. Embodied Cognition and the Neural Reuse Hypothesis Julian Kiverstein
6. Rehashing Embodied Cognition and the Neural Reuse Hypothesis Fred Adams
Part IV: How should neuroscience inform the study of cognition?
7. Does Cognitive Science Need Neuroscience Fiery Cushman
8. Is cognitive neuroscience an oxymoron? Yael Niv
Part V: What can cognitive science teach us about ethics?
9. The Ethical Significance of Cognitive Science Victor Kumar
10. Putting the ‘Social’ Back in Social Psychology Colin Klein
Adam J. Lerner is Assistant Professor/Faculty Fellow at the New York University Center for Bioethics. He completed his PhD in Philosophy at Princeton University in 2018 and he works on issues in ethics, metaethics, moral psychology, and the philosophy of mind.
Simon Cullen is Assistant Teaching Professor of Philosophy at Carnegie Mellon University. He earned his PhD in Philosophy at Princeton University in 2015 and was a postdoctoral research fellow at Princeton Neuroscience Institute in 2017. His work focuses on the folk concept of self, especially the notion of a “true self” and its theoretical and normative implications; developing empirical methods to advance experimental philosophy and other areas of social scientific inquiry; and helping people improve at open-minded analytical reasoning and communication.
Sarah-Jane Leslie is the Class of 1943 Professor of Philosophy and Dean of the Graduate School at Princeton University. She is the author of numerous articles in philosophy and psychology, published in journals such as Science, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Philosophical Review, and Noûs.