Mind and cognition
The intersection of philosophy of mind and cognitive science, specialising in embodiment, consciousness, perception, action, and situated reason
Mind and cognition is an inherently interdisciplinary and fast-moving field, in which Edinburgh ranks among the world leaders.
We group benefit hugely from research and faculty in the nearby School of Informatics (ranked number 1 in the last two UK Research Assessment Exercises) which brings together research in Computer Science, Cognitive Science, Computational Linguistics and Artificial Intelligence.
The group also enjoys regular contact with Psychology (especially Human Cognitive Neuroscience), Linguistics (especially the unique and world-leading Centre for Language Evolution), and Music (especially the Institute for Music and Human Development).
Focal topics for our research include:
|The debates concerning extended and embodied cognition||The metaphysics and epistemology of mind|
The nature of perception and perceptual experience
|Bounded and situated reason|
|The nature of computation||Predictive coding and neurocomputational approaches to mind|
|Agency and the will||The epistemological ramifications of extended cognition|
|Phenomenology and consciousness|
Core faculty working in this area include:
|Professor Andy Clark||Philosophy of mind, artificial intelligence, including robotics, artificial life, embodied cognition, and mind, technology, and culture.|
|Dr Alistair Isaac||
Philosophy of mind, philosophy of psychology, philosophy of science.
|Professor Jesper Kallestrup||Philosophy of language, epistemology, philosophy of mind.|
|Philosophy of psychology, philosophy of mind, cognitive science, moral psychology, philosophy of science.|
|Epistemology, philosophy of language, philosophy of mind.|
|Philosophy of mind, philosophy of science, metaphysics, philosophy of language.|
|Metaphysics, epistemology and the philosophy of mind.|
|Philosophy of mind, free will, mental actions, mindreading, consciousness, implicit/explicit mental processing, neuroethics, philosophy of psychology and of cognitive science.|
|Philosophy of mind and cognitive science.|
Other staff and post-docs with an interest in mind and cognition include:
|Dr Matthew Chrisman||Ethical theory, philosophy of language, epistemology.|
|Early modern philosophy, embodied values.|
|Ethics, political philosophy, action theory, epistemology, philosophy of mind, philosophy of language|
Dr Miranda Anderson (History)
|Parallels and contrasts between recent philosophical theories on the embodied and extended mind, and analogous ideas in literary, philosophical, and scientific texts from the fifteenth and early-seventeenth century.|
|Professor Jim Hurford (Linguistics)||Linguistic theory, language evolution.|
|Professor Simon Kirby (Linguistics)||Origins and evolution of language; cultural evolution; bridging scientific and artistic practice.|
|Dr Robert McIntosh (Psychology)||Neural control of visual perception and visually-guided action in humans.|
|Professor Jon Oberlander (Informatics)||Epistemics, getting computers to talk (or write) like humans.|
|Dr Katie Overy (Music)||Musical learning, especially music psychology, music pedagogy and music neuroscience, music as support for individuals with diagnoses such as dyslexia, aphasia, autism and dementia.|
|Dr Paul Schweizer (Informatics)||Philosophical logic, the computational paradigm and conceptual foundations of cognitive science and AI, philosophy of mind and language.|
|Dr Richard Shillcock (Psychology and informatics)||Reading, cognitive modelling, language representation and processing, and the nature of theories and models in psychology and in cognitive science more widely.|
|Dr Alan Smaill (Informatics)||Constructive logics and non-realist semantics, reflection principles and their application in automated reasoning systems, theorem proving in relation to programming.|
|Dr Mog Stapleton||Philosophy of Cognitive Science, Affective Science, Embodiment|
|Professor Mark Steedman (Informatics)||Computational linguistics, artificial intelligence, cognitive science, computational music analysis, combinatory logic.|
|Professor Barbara Webb (Informatics)||Question answering, bioinformatics, discourse, natural language semantics, knowledge representation and inference.|
MSc Philosophy (specialisation in Mind and Cognition available)
Meetings and events
The group organises one of the university's most diverse interdisciplinary reading group: a bi-weekly interdisciplinary seminar uniting Philosophy, Psychology, Neuroscience, Linguistics and Informatics (the PPIG series). We also organise the computational mind reading group.
Computational mind reading group
We also organise various conferences and workshops on relevant themes.