University of Pittsburgh
Areas of Concentration

Special Program in History
& Philosophy of Psychology, Neuroscience, and Psychiatry

The Department of History and Philosophy of Science (HPS) is recognized as a world leader in general history and philosophy of science. In addition to strengths in the philosophy and history of biology, philosophy and history of physics, early modern natural philosophy, and ancient science, the department has excellent resources for graduate study in the history and philosophy of psychology, neuroscience, psychiatry, and cognitive science.

Recent graduate seminars include Perception (Machery), Philosophy of Cognitive Science (Machery), Evolution and Cognition (Machery), Method and Interpretation in Cognitive Science (Glymour), and Philosophy of Psychiatry (Schaffner).

The department offers a generous package of financial support to most successful applicants for admission and has an excellent record of placing its PhD graduates in academic positions.

Participating Faculty:

Jim Bogen, emeritus, Pitzer College (philosophy) and adjunct professor, HPS. Philosophy and history (19th century on) of neuroscience. Recent work includes “Two as Good as a Hundred: The Use of Poorly Replicated Evidence in Some 19th Century Neuroscience” (Studies in History and Philosophy of the Biological and Biomedical Sciences 32, 3, 2001), and “Functional Brain Imaging: a Custard Pie for Epistemologists”
(Proceedings of the PSA 2000).

Mazviita Chirimuuta, assistant professor, HPS, adjunct professor, CNBC. Philosophy of Neuroscience, relationship between neuroscience and the philosophy of mind and perception.

Clark Glymour, professor, Carnegie Mellon University, and adjunct professor, HPS. Philosophy of psychology, neuropsychology, AI. Author of The Mind's Arrows: Bayes Nets and Graphical Causal Models in Psychology (MIT, 2003).

Jim Lennox, professor, HPS. Emotions and psychiatric disorders (philosophy and history of biology).

Edouard Machery, associate professor, HPS, CNBC. Philosophy of cognitive science, experimental philosophy. Author of Doing Without Concepts (Oxford, 2009).

Sandra D. Mitchell, professor, HPS. Epistemological issues in neuroscience. Author of Biological Complexity and Integrative Pluralism (Cambridge, 2003) and Unsimple Truths: Science, Complexity, and Policy (Chicago, 2009).

Robert C. Olby, research professor, HPS. History of neuroscience. Author of The Path to the Double Helix: The Discovery of DNA (Dover, 1994) and Francis Crick: Hunter of Life's Secrets (Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, 2009).

Kenneth F. Schaffner, University Professor, HPS, and professor, psychiatry. Philosophy and history of biology and medicine, including psychiatry. Author of Discovery and Explanation in Biology and Medicine (Chicago, 1993) and Behaving: What’s Genetic and What’s Not? (Oxford, forthcoming).

Wayne Wu,Wayne Wu, associate professor, CMU and associate director, CNBC. Philosophy of cognitive science, perception and agency, philosophy of mind.

Recent Dissertation Projects:

Lauren Ross, "Explanation in Contexts of Causal Complexity”.

Joseph McCaffrey,"Mental Function and Cerebral Cartography: Functional localization in fMRI research”.

Holly Andersen, “The Causal Structure of Conscious Agency”.

Jacqueline Sullivan, “Reliability and Validity of Experiment in the Neurobiology of Learning and Memory”.

Gualtiero Piccinini, “Computations and Computers in the Sciences of Mind and Brain”.

Carl Craver, “Neural mechanisms: On the structure, function, and development of theories in neurobiology”.

Uljana Feest, "Operationism, Experimentation, and Concept Formation".