Evidence and Explanations of Cognition Conference


Join the Evidence and Explanations of Cognition Conference on 6 - 7 May 2021.

In this conference, we will engage with questions about how we are best to explain cognition by reflecting upon the nature and diversity of evidence in cognitive science. Evidence of an array of different objects now plays a role in cognitive science. For example, evidence of brain structure and function acquired via neuroimaging, evidence of (neurobiological) mechanisms acquired via mechanistic studies, and evidence of patterns of (verbal and non-verbal) behaviour acquired via a variety of experimental methods. It seems apparent, however, that different sub-disciplines of cognitive science will give priority to evidence of different kinds of things. For example, (cognitive) neuroscience will prioritise evidence of brain structure and function in a way that psychology might not.

With this in mind, this conference will aim to critically engage with the following questions: what are the objects of evidence in cognitive science? How does the prioritisation of evidence of one or another object (e.g. brain structure, (neurobiological) mechanisms, evolutionary facts) relate to the preference for one or another kind of cognitive scientific explanation (e.g. cognitive models, mechanistic explanations, dynamic explanations)? Is one’s standard for explanatory success incognitive science independent of one’s understanding of what counts as evidence in cognitive science? Is there any sense in which the evidence of cognitive science is unified? If not, what does this imply about the unity of cognitive science as a discipline?

The aim of this conference is to bring together philosophers of mind and cognitive science to examine questions of this kind. On the one hand, then, the conference aims to examine questions about evidence of cognition and the correct theory of evidence in cognitive science. But, on the other hand, the conference aims to relate this discussion to ongoing and tendentious issues concerning the best kinds of explanations for cognitive competencies. It is hoped that by focusing on questions about the nature of evidence in cognitive science, we will be better positioned to form a consensus about how we are to do the required explanatory work in cognitive science or, at least, why we have been unable as yet to agree on the best explanatory strategy in cognitive science.

Contact: Samuel D. Taylor (samuel.da.taylor@gmail.com)


Professor WiIlliam Bechtel, Department of Philosophy, University of California, San Diego.

Professor Lisa Bortolotti, Department of Philosophy, University of Birmingham.

Professor Anthony Chemero, Department of Philosophy, University of Cincinnati.

Professor Lindley Darden, Department of Philosophy, University of Maryland.

Professor Edouard Machery, Department of History and Philosophy of Science, University of Pittsburgh.

Professor John Moult, Institute for Bioscience and Biotechnology Research (IBBR), University of Maryland.

Professor Bence Nanay, Centre for Philosophical Psychology, University of Antwerp.

Professor Richard Samuels, Center of Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Ohio State University.

Samuel D. Taylor, Department of Philosophy, University of Kent.

Professor Daniel A. Weiskopf, Department of Philosophy, Georgia State University.

Professor Jon Williamson, Department of Philosophy, University of Kent.



Link: https://sites.google.com/view/evidence-explanation-cognition/home