What Do We Mean by Cognitive Science

What Do We Mean by Cognitive Science

Project 1

What do we mean by cognitive science?

Name: Silvia Paniagua Suárez
D.N.I.: 76.129.755-P
Date: 11/11/2010

1. Introduction

In this project I am going to analyse some definitions about cognitive science and establish the similitudes and differences between these definitions. Previously, I will try to explain the epistemological basis of cognitivism. To conclude the project, I will try to make my own definition about cognitive science.

2. Epistemological basis of cognitive science

The birth of Cognitive Science takes place in the decade of 1950. There are some important movements represented by young investigators in many different disciplines. Thus, the most important projects that were presented were: “The Logic Theory Machine” presented by Allen Newell and Herbert Simon in a symposium in the MIT in 1956, and “Three models for the description of language" by Noam Chomsky in the same symposium, where he presented the transformational grammar. George Miller also presented a series of studies on human short-term memory ability and found what appeared to be a 'law' of short-term memory. The last event was the foundation of the Artificial Intelligence by Newell, Simon, Minsky and McCarthy.
These projects supposed the beginning of a new line of investigation or paradigm that will be called Cognitive Science, and this new paradigm will have a relationship of feedback with many disciplines (interdisciplinariness, a very important feature of cognitive science), for example, psychology, linguistics, cibernetics, neuroscience, etc.

Previously, the dominant paradigm was the behaviourism which was based on considering that all the things that organisms do, even acting, thinking and feeling can and should be regarded as behaviors. This paradigm keep out the mind because all the behaviors can be described scientifically. Chomsky criticised this paradigm when he published a review of “Verbal Behaviour” written by Skinner, because behaviourists...

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