What is Cognitive Science
Intuitions, Objectivity, and Analysis
Dr. Henry Jackman
Thursday, December 02, 2010, 12:00pm - 07:00pm
York University, Department of Philosophy
There has been a long tradition of philosophers engaging in a more-or-less armchair analysis of the nature of such topics as knowledge, justice, freedom and the like. For quite a while there seemed to be a consensus that this process could be understood as a type of "conceptual analysis" and that the inputs to such analysis were the "intuitions" that philosophers had relating to these perennial topics. This consensus has, to put it mildly, come under a lot of pressure over the last few decades, and many of the underlying assumptions about what concepts were, what intuitions could be and why the process of analyzing our concepts would have any point have come to seem increasingly suspect. That said, this paper will argue that the notion(s) of concepts that has replaced the more classical picture leave room for an equally altered conception of philosophical analysis, but still a conception that allows us to redescribe, rather than simply reject, much of the earlier work that fell under the rubric of analysis.
"What is Cognitive Science?"
This lunchtime talks series is designed to introduce the University community to issues in Cognitive Science. Cognitive Science is one the the few fields where modern developments in computer science and artificial intelligence promise to shed light on classical problems in psychology and the philosophy of the mind. Ancient questions of how we see the world, understand language, and reason, and questions such as 'how a material system can know about the outside world', are being explored with the powerful new conceptual prosthetics of computer modeling.
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