Current Controversies in Philosophy of Cognitive Science: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Current Controversies in Philosophy of Cognitive Science

1st Edition

Edited by Adam J. Lerner, Simon Cullen, Sarah-Jane Leslie


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Hardback: 9781138858008
pub: 2020-05-25
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Cognitive science is the study of minds and mental processes. Psychology, neuroscience, computer science, and philosophy, among other subdisciplines, all 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 to 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 reading 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

About the Editors

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, meta-ethics, moral psychology, and the philosophy of mind.

Simon Cullen philosophy faculty at Carnegie Mellon University in 2018 completed his PhD in Philosophy at Princeton University in 2015. Before joining the, he held postdocs in the Philosophy Department at Princeton and Princeton Neuroscience Institute. His work focuses on moral psychology, ethics, and developing technology to help people improve at open-minded analytical reasoning.

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.

About the Series

Current Controversies in Philosophy

In venerable Socratic fashion, philosophy proceeds best through reasoned conversation. Current Controversies in Philosophy provides short, accessible volumes that cast a spotlight on ongoing central philosophical conversations. In each book, pairs of experts debate four or five key issues of contemporary concern, setting the stage for students, teachers and researchers to join the discussion. Short chapter descriptions precede each chapter, and an annotated bibliography and study questions conclude each debate. In addition, each volume includes both a general introduction and a supplemental guide to further controversies. Combining timely debates with useful pedagogical aids allows the volumes to serve as clear and detailed snapshots, for all levels of readers, of some the most exciting work happening in philosophy today. 

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