Are We Losing Our Minds? Cognitive Science and the Study of Politics

Political Theory 35 (6):704 - 731 (2007)
Abstract
Contemporary literature in cognitive science and the philosophy of mind points to the locus of significant unresolved theoretical and methodological issues in political theory and political science, and particularly to the persistently anomalous status of mental concepts. The manner in which political and social theorists have accessed and deployed this literature, however, has been highly selective and conceptually problematical. The purpose has often been to justify prior agendas, and issues relating to how brain processes are involved in an explanation of political phenomena have not been satisfactorily confronted. Cognitive science is itself a highly contested field with indigenous theoretical difficulties, and it is necessary to sort out and analyze the salient positions in this conversation and to begin, at least tentatively, to assess critically its implications for both social theory and empirical research and to suggest a direction for further investigation.
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