Mind & Cognition @ Edinburgh
The intersection between philosophy of mind and the cognitive sciences is one of the most exciting and fast-moving contemporary interdisciplinary arenas. Within this field, the Edinburgh research team ranks among the world leaders, and specializes in the study of embodiment, consciousness, perception, action, and situated reason. Focal topics include the debates concerning extended and embodied cognition, the nature of perception and perceptual experience, the nature of computation, agency and the will, phenomenology and consciousness, the metaphysics and epistemology of mind, bounded and situated reason, predictive coding and neurocomputational approaches to mind, and (in an emerging synergy with the Epistemology research cluster) the epistemological ramifications of extended cognition.
The Mind and Cognition grouping benefits 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, Linguistics (especially the unique and world-leading Language Evolution and Computation Unit), Human Cognitive Neuroscience, and Music (especially the Institute for Music and Human Development). To promote such contacts the group organizes 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). The Mind and Cognition group regularly hosts research events in this area, such as international conferences, workshops, and reading groups.
Research groups and events
The Mind and Cognition cluster supports a large array of student and faculty events, including the following regular series:
- Computational Mind Reading Group
- Philosophy, Psychology, and Informatics Research Group (otherwise known as the 'PPIG' group)
- PPLS Interdisciplinary Seminar Series
The Masters specialization in Mind, Language and Embodied Cognition
Faculty from the Mind and Cognition grouping provide dedicated courses for the cross-disciplinary masters specialization in Mind, Language and Embodied Cognition. This benefits from an international advisory panel that includes Daniel Dennett, Alva Noë, Jesse Prinz, Sean Kelly, and Thomas Metzinger, as well as leading representatives from neuroscience, robotics, cognitive and developmental psychology, and cognitive anthropology.
There are around 30 postgraduate students working on mind and cognition at the University of Edinburgh, making the Edinburgh group the largest in the UK outside of Oxford.
Core faculty are listed in the members section below. The linked personal profiles provide their research interests and contact information. In addition, there are a number of other members of faculty with interests in mind and cognition, including Matthew Chrisman, Pauline Phemister, Mike Ridge, and Duncan Pritchard. Key extra-departmental contacts include Miranda Anderson, Jim Hurford, Simon Kirby, Robert McIntosh, Jon Oberlander, Katie Overy, Paul Schweizer, Richard Shillcock, Alan Smaill, Mark Steedman, and Barbara Webb.