Cognitive Science of Philosophy Symposium: Moral Dilemmas

Welcome to the Brains Blog’s Symposium series on the Cognitive Science of Philosophy. The aim of the series is to examine the use of diverse methods to generate philosophical insight. Each symposium is comprised of two parts. In the target post, a practitioner describes their use of the method under …

Towards a Multilevel, Mechanistic, Computational, Representational Explanation of Cognition

When I was in graduate school at Pitt around the late 1990s, I hung out with some faculty and students in the Psych Department. One day I asked one of the more ambitious Psych grad students, “what’s the future of psychology?” He answered without hesitation: “cognitive neuroscience”. Since then, psychology …

Discussing Richard Nisbett’s Thinking: A Memoir — X-Phi, Culture, Introspection, IQ, Guns, Class, and Academia

You have surely heard about cultural differences in reasoning, how people can fabricate reasons when asked to explain one of their decisions, and how many people seem systematically susceptible to reasoning errors. Much of this research was contributed by Richard Nisbett and their colleagues. Dr. Nisbett was kind enough to …

Empirical Results concerning Causal Reasoning and Their Philosophical Significance

As explained in the previous post, one very rich area of inquiry concerns the extent to which normative theories of causal reasoning, from both philosophy and elsewhere, successfully characterize how, as an empirical matter,  various sorts  of subjects (adults, children, non-human animals) reason. This has been explored by psychologists and other researchers …

Introduction to Causation With A Human Face

How should philosophers (and others) approach the topic of causation and causal reasoning? Causation with a Human Face (CHF) proposes an approach that brings together results from a number of different disciplines, both descriptive ( e.g., the empirical psychology of causal cognition) and normative (statistics, econometrics, machine learning,  philosophy).  The guiding idea is that   causal …

The Psychology Of Bias: From Data to Theory

This post about psychological explanation and implicit bias by Gabbrielle Johnson is the first post of this week’s series on An Introduction to Implicit Bias: Knowledge, Justice, and the Social Mind (Routledge, 2020). Find the other posts here. Here’s a peculiar thing about people: often what they do doesn’t match …

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