The Problem of Cognitive Ontology
March 27 - March 28
Functional brain imaging studies try to map patterns of activation to cognitive functions, and usually rely upon functional task decomposition based on hypotheses derived from intuition and cognitive psychology. The tasks we postulate constitute a cognitive ontology. What is the epistemic status of these functional commitments? Do we have reason to believe they accurately track the fundamental building blocks of cognition? Does the idea that cognition has fundamental building blocks have merit? Is there a way to bootstrap ourselves out of mistaken theories, or are the methods of neuroimaging ill-suited to alert us to mistaken views? Can other areas of neuroscience help constrain our ontologies? What is the upshot of the issues for gaining knowledge from neuroimaging studies and for theories of scientific realism more generally?
This interdisciplinary conference will focus upon these questions and their philosophical implications, and will explore possible methods for addressing these philosophical concerns, such as data-driven discovery methods for cognitive functions. We invite scholars from philosophy and the neurosciences to submit proposals for submitted talks and encourage all participants to think broadly and outside the box about these fundamental epistemological issues in neuroscience.
Michael Anderson, Western University
Carl Craver, Washington University
Joseph McCaffrey, University of Nebraska, Omaha
Russ Poldrack, Stanford University
Jackie Sullivan, Western University
Adina Roskies, Dartmouth College
Trey Boone, University of Pittsburgh
Mazviita Chirimuuta, University of Pittsburgh
Edouard Machery, University of Pittsburgh
Zina Ward, University of Pittsburgh
Complete Program TBA
The Center for Philosophy of Science
Further inquiries may be addressed to Morgan Thompson (email@example.com).