This book presents a vital resource -- a comprehensive
interdisciplinary selection of seminal papers in the foundations of
cognitive science, from leading figures in artificial intelligence,
linguistics, philosophy, psychology, and neuroscience.
The collection is organized around three broad conceptions of
the mind: the mind as computer program, the mind as a neural
network, and the mind as brain. Each category includes papers that
articulate the conception in question, papers that illustrate it,
papers that interpret or criticize it, and papers that provide
necessary technical background.
Finally, there is a section of classic papers on four broad
questions which have shaped contemporary thinking in cognitive
What is innate in the mind?
Is the mind a seamless whole, or is it made up of independent
modules that differ significantly from each other?
Are our ordinary mental concepts, such as belief, desire, and
intention, a good starting place for a scientific understanding of
the mind, or are they artifacts of a pre-scientific conception that
should be discarded?
How should biology generally, and the evolution of animals in
particular, constrain our theories about mental phenomena?
Taken together, these papers give a sense of the history of the
field as well as its contents by presenting the argumnets, models,
data, and experiments that most crucially influence theory and
practice in cognitive science.
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