Philosophy of Cognitive Science in Pittsburgh

I have been away from Pittsburgh for about a year (May 2008-August 2009), and since I came back, I have been impressed by the amount of philosophy of cognitive science going on in Pittsburgh. 

To wit:

– I am teaching a graduate seminar surveying the philosophy of cognitive science (Mark Sprevak and Lisa Damm are seating in the seminar);
– David Danks and Clark Glymour are teaching a grad seminar on rational models of cognition;
– Horatio is teaching a graduate seminar surveying the philosophy of mind at CMU;
– Natalie Gold (decision making), Mark Sprevak (computation, extended mind, etc.), and Drossi Stoyanov (psychiatry) are visiting the Center for Philosophy of Science;
– Lisa Damm (emotions) is post-doc at the Center for Philosophy of Science;
– Lisa, Mark, Jim Bogen, several graduate students and myself have organized a weekly reading group. 
I’d be curious to have your opinion about other places in the USA or elsewhere. NYC with Jesse Prinz and soon Alva Noe? Saint Louis with Gualtiero, Carl Craver, John Doris, etc.? Vancouver? Elsewhere?


  1. gualtiero

    Thanks for sharing. I always thoughts that Pittsburgh was one of the best kept secrets in the philosophy of cognitive science.

    Places that are not secret at all include Rutgers and UCSD, of course.

    In St. Louis, we have a very strong community: The Wash U powerhouse (Craver and Doris but also John Heil, Jose Bermudez, Mark Rollins, Frederick Eberhardt, the PNP postdocs), SLU (Dan Haybron), and UMSL (Anna Alexandrova, Brit Brogaard [who’s been teaching only philosophy of mind and cognitive science lately], and me). (I apologize to anyone I omitted.) There are often reading groups on topics having to do with cognitive science involving people from different universities. At one reading group (currently suspended, but hopefully it will resume soon), some distinguished retired faculty living in the area can be seen: Bob Gordon, John Barker, and Jim Stone.

  2. Carl Gillett

    People with fragile visual systems might want to be careful viewing the CUNY cognitive science schedule — oh my lord is that green a bright one. Wow.

    The line-up of speakers is also very striking as well, I am very envious.

  3. Brendan Ritchie

    Time for some Terrapin pride,

    Here at Maryland, we have several people who work in philosophy of cognitive science: Peter Carruthers and Georges Rey, as well as Paul Pietroski (cro-appointed with linguistics) and Sue Dwyer (Moral Cognition).  We also just hired a junior faculty, Alexander Williams, who is a trained linguist and co-appointed with linguistics as well.  There are also a couple of faculty who have appointments in computer science programs on campus (Jeff Horty), and others who have done work in AI (e.g. Michael Mourrea).  There is a cog sci talk series run by Carruthers, Amanda Woodward (Psych) and Norbert Hornstein (Linguistics), which has excellent speakers.  There is also a Neuroscience and Cognitive Science Program, with a very heavy neuroscience focus that spans many departments, which offers a certificate program (compare those at Arizona and Rutgers), and which is, in my experience, incredibly welcoming and educating (one class required a group assignment of designing, running, and analyzing the data from, an MEG experiment using the facilities at the Cognitive Neuroscience of Language Lab).  So, in short, there is a lot on offer in phil of cog sci at UMD!

  4. edouard machery

    Thanks for the information, all.

    Still, I was not really interested in the potential of the various places in the USA (I have a good grasp of this). What really interests me is what is *actually* going on elsewhere. How much philosophy of cognitive science is done this semester or a regular semester in the area where you are working.

    What surprises me is how much is actually going on this semester in Pittsburgh.


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