History & Philosophy of Cognitive, Neural, and Behavioral Sciences

The Department of History and Philosophy of Science (HPS) has excellent resources for graduate study in the history and philosophy of psychology, neuroscience, psychiatry, and cognitive science, including artificial intelligence, as well as related areas such as ethology, decision science, and the social sciences.

Recent graduate seminars include Perception (Machery, Chirimuuta), Philosophy of Cognitive Science (Machery, Allen), Cognitive Models (Colin Allen), Causation and Cognition (Woodward), Evolution and Cognition (Machery), Central Problems in Systems Neuroscience (Chirimuuta), History of the Neurosciences (Chirimuuta).

Several of the faculty are also affiliated with the Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition (CNBC) which is a joint research institute of Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsbugh. HPS graduate students with interests in this area of specialization typically complete the CNBC graduate certificate and many of them also obtain laboratory experience with other CNBC faculty.

Participating Faculty

Current HPS Faculty

Colin Allen, professor, CNBC member, Philosophy of cognitive science, animal cognition, artificial intelligence.  Author/editor of Species of Mind (MIT, 1997), Evolution of Mind (Oxford, 1998), The Cognitive Animal (MIT, 2002), Moral Machines (Oxford, 2009)

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

Jonathan Fuller, assistant professor, HPS. Philosophy of psychiatry, intersection between philosophy of medicine and the study of the mind.

Marian Gilton, assistant professor, HPS. Formal systems of non-monotonic reasoning, deontic logic, especially the logic of moral conflict and requirement.

Edouard Machery, professor, HPS, CNBC member. 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).

David Wallace, professor, HPS. Decision theory and its foundations. Author of The Emergent Multiverse (Oxford, 2012) which develops a new approach to the foundations of decision theory in the context of the quantum measurement problem.

Jim Woodward, professor, HPS. Philosophy of psychology, and philosophy of social science. Cognitive accounts of causal reasoning and learning.

Affiliated Faculty

David Danks, professor, Carnegie Mellon University, and adjunct professor, HPS. Philosophy of cognitive science, and machine learning.

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). 

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, 2016).

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

Some Completed 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".