Mind and Cognition – A study on the Philosophical Foundations of Cognitive Science

Cognitive science aims at the study and explanation of human cognitive capacities like perception, memory, reasoning, language use and so on. It is a distinctively multidisciplinary enterprise emerging out of the interaction of various disciplines like Artificial Intelligence, Cognitive Psychology, Linguistics, Neuroscience and Philosophy, each studying human cognitive capacities in its own way. Hence it depends and draws heavily on the resources of the contributing disciplines. The present work is not an empirical inquiry into the human cognitive capacities as such, though it certainly has specific implications for such an inquiry. Hence the thesis will not, at any stage of the investigation, be concerned with any of the subdisciplines except Philosophy. The study is restricted to certain philosophical assumptions that makes cognitive science a legitimate discipline. Philosophical discussions on cognitive science revolve around two basic questions: 1. What is the nature of mind? 2. What is the nature of cognitive processes? These questions are interrelated and interdependent in the sense that an answer to any one of them would determine the answer to the other. In what follows I shall identify a set of interrelated issues that form the philosophical foundations of the emerging discipline. The issues pertain to the existence and nature of minds or knowing things, to the mind-body distinction, to the nature of cognition and to the method of cognitive science.

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About Giorgio Bertini

Director at Learning Change Project - Research on society, culture, art, neuroscience, cognition, critical thinking, intelligence, creativity, autopoiesis, self-organization, rhizomes, complexity, systems, networks, leadership, sustainability, thinkers, futures ++
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