Reaching for mind: foundations of cognitive science
2 days: April 3-4, 1995
The assumption underlying this workshop is that Cognitive Science (CS)
is in crisis. The crisis manifests itself, as exemplified by the
recent Buffalo summer institute, in a complete lack of consensus among
even the biggest names in the field on whether CS has or indeed should
have a clearly identifiable focus of study; the issue of identifying
this focus is a separate and more difficult one. Though academic
programs in CS have in general settled into a pattern compatible with
classical computationalist CS (Pylyshyn 1984, Von Eckardt 1993),
including the relegation from focal consideration of consciousness,
affect and social factors, two fronts have been opened on this
The first front is well-publicised and highly visible. Both Searle
(1992) and Edelman refuse to grant any special status to
information-processing in explanation of mental process. In contrast,
they argue, we should focus on Neuroscience on the one hand and
Consciousness on the other. The other front is ultimately the more
compelling one. It consists of those researchers from inside CS who
are currently working on consciousness, affect and social factors and
do not see any incompatibility between this research and their vision
of CS, which is that of a Science of Mind (see O Nuallain (in press)
and Mc Kevitt and Patridge 1991, Mc Kevitt and Guo 1994).
The workshop will focus on three themes:
- What is the focus of Cognitive Science?
- Classic computationalism
- Neuroscience and Consciousness
The following issues will be focussed upon during the workshop:
- Address the central tension
- Propose an overall framework for CS (as attempted, inter alia,
by O Nuallain (in press))
- Explicate the relations between the disciplines which comprise CS.
- Relate educational experiences in the field
- Describe research outside the framework of classical
computationalist CS in the context of an alternative framework
- Promotes a single logico-mathematical formalism as a theory of
Mind (as attempted by Harmony theory)
- Moderately/violently disagree with the premise of the workshop
- Classical vs. neuroscience representations
- Consciousness vs. Non-consciousness
- Dictated vs. emergent behaviour
- Holism and the move towards Zen integration
Our intention is to have as much discussion as possible during the
workshop and to stress panel sessions and discussion rather than
having formal paper presentations. The workshop will consist of
half-hour presentations, with 15 minutes for discussion at the end of
We hope to have an attendance between 25-50 people at the workshop.
Given the urgency of the topic, we expect it to be of interest not
only to scientists in the AI/Cognitive Science (CS) area, but also to
those in other of the sciences of mind who are curious about CS.
We envisage researchers from Edinburgh, Leeds, York, Sheffield and Sussex
attending from within England and many overseas visitors as the
Conference Programme is looking very international.
Workshop notes/preprints will be published. If there is sufficient
interest we will publish a book on the workshop with the American
Artificial Intelligence Association (AAAI) Press.
Papers of not more than 8 pages should be submitted by electronic mail
(preferably uuencoded compressed postscript) to Sean O Nuallain at the E-mail address given above. If you cannot submit your paper by e-mail please submit three copies by snail mail.
Submission Deadline: February 13th 1995
Notification Date: February 25th 1995
Camera ready Copy: March 10th 1995
Mc Kevitt, P. and D. Partridge (1991)
Problem description and hypothesis testing in Artificial Intelligence
In ``Artificial Intelligence and
Cognitive Science '90'', Springer-Verlag British Computer Society
Workshop Series, McTear, Michael and Norman Creaney (Eds.), 26-47,
Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer-Verlag.
Also, in Proceedings of the
Third Irish Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Cognitive
Science (AI/CS-90), University of Ulster at Jordanstown, Northern
Ireland, EU, September and as Technical Report 224, Department of
Computer Science, University of Exeter, GB- EX4 4PT, Exeter, England,
EU, September, 1991.
Mc Kevitt, P. and Guo, Cheng-ming (1995) From Chinese rooms to Irish
rooms: new words on visions for language Artificial Intelligence
Review Vol. 8. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Kluwer-Academic Publishers.
First published: International Workshop on Directions of Lexical
Research, August, 1994, Beijing, China.
O Nuallain, S (in press) The Search for Mind: a new foundation for
Pylyshyn, Z.(1984) Computation and Cognition. MIT Press
Searle, J (1992) The rediscovery of the mind. MIT Press.
Von Eckardt, B. (1993) What is Cognitive Science? MIT Press
Sean O Nuallain <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Dublin City University
fax: (+44) 353 1 704 5442
- Sean O Nuallain Chair (Dublin City University, Dublin, Ireland & National Research Council, Ottawa, Canada)
- Paul Mc Kevitt Co-Chair (University of Sheffield, England)
- John Barnden (New Mexico State University, USA)
- Istvan Berkeley (University of Alberta, Canada)
- Peter Carruthers (University of Sheffield, England)
- Daniel Dennett (Tufts University, USA)
- Eric Dietrich (SUNY Binghamton, USA)
- Steven Harnad (University of Southampton, England)
- Ray Jackendoff (Brandeis, USA)
- Daniel Jurafsky (ICSI UC Berkeley, USA)
- George Lakoff (UC Berkeley, USA)
- James Martin (University of Colorado at Boulder, USA)
- John Macnamara (McGill University, Canada)
- Mike McTear (Universities of Ulster and Koblenz, Germany)
- Jordan Pollack (Ohio State University, Ireland)
- Ronan Reilly (University College, Dublin, Ireland)
- Noel Sharkey (University of Sheffield, England) (inv.)
- Paul Smolensky (University of Colorado at Boulder, USA)
- Yorick Wilks (University of Sheffield, England) (inv.)
Last modified: Feb 2 1995
Malcolm Crawford <email@example.com>
Institute for Language Speech and Hearing, University of Sheffield