2.87 Cognitive Science

Category: Philosophy of Mind

Keywords: processing, computational, input, cognitive, cognition, neural, information, output, network, motor, task, brain, folk, clark, competence

Number of Articles: 305
Percentage of Total: 0.9%
Rank: 50th

Weighted Number of Articles: 230.9
Percentage of Total: 0.7%
Rank: 71st

Mean Publication Year: 1997.3
Weighted Mean Publication Year: 1993.3
Median Publication Year: 1998
Modal Publication Year: 2013

Topic with Most Overlap: Mechanisms (0.0558)
Topic this Overlaps Most With: Wide Content (0.0297)
Topic with Least Overlap: Crime and Punishment (0.00017)
Topic this Overlaps Least With: Social Contract Theory (0.00035)

A scatterplot showing which proportion of articles each year are in the cognitive sciencetopic. The x-axis shows the year, the y-axis measures the proportion of articles each year in this topic. There is one dot per year. The highest value is in 2008 when 2.4% of articles were in this topic. The lowest value is in 1904 when 0.0% of articles were in this topic. The full table that provides the data for this graph is available in Table A.87 in Appendix A.

Figure 2.200: Cognitive science.

A set of twelve scatterplots showing the proportion of articles in each journal in each year that are in the Cognitive Sciencetopic. There is one scatterplot for each of the twelve journals that are the focus of this book. In each scatterplot, the x-axis is the year, and the y-axis is the proportion of articles in that year in that journal in this topic. Here are the average values for each of the twelve scatterplots - these tell you on average how much of the journal is dedicated to this topic. Mind - 0.4%. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society - 0.4%. Ethics - 0.2%. Philosophical Review - 0.4%. Analysis - 0.4%. Philosophy and Public Affairs - 0.3%. Journal of Philosophy - 0.9%. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research - 0.7%. Philosophy of Science - 1.5%. Noûs - 0.8%. The Philosophical Quarterly - 0.4%. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science - 2.0%. The topic reaches its zenith in year 2008 when it makes up, on average across the journals, 2.2% of the articles. And it hits a minimum in year 1904 when it makes up, on average across the journals, 0.0% of the articles.

Figure 2.201: Cognitive science articles in each journal.

Table 2.210: Characteristic articles of the cognitive science topic.
Table 2.211: Highly cited articles in the cognitive science topic.


The common theme to most of these articles is that they live at the overlap between philosophy and cognitive science. There is a big focus on the nature of computation, and this occasionally means the model gets confused and pulls in articles that aren’t really about cognitive science, like Nick Bostrom’s “Are We Living in a Computer Simulation?”. But most of them, tracing back to Kitcher’s discussion of Marr’s theory of vision, are safely inside cognitive science.

As someone who is involved with the Weinberg Institute for Cognitive Science at the University of Michigan, I’m pleased to see this work get this level of attention from the model.

I suspect if we ran the model forward in time this topic would get a bit bigger, though armchair impressions are not always reliable here. There is a lot of work being done at the intersection of cognitive science and philosophy, but I’d have to sit down with the twelve journals to have much of a sense of how much of that work is being done in those journals. It’s possible that more of it is taking place in journals like Mind and Language that are outside the study.

I’m not surprised to see Andy Clark be so central to the subject. He turns up on the keywords, the characteristic articles and (separately) the most cited articles. Given his important recent work on predictive processing, and the importance of predictive processing to recent debates in philosophy of mind, I do not think that would change if we extend the model forward in time.