L'Histoire des Sciences Cognitives

In Lucien Sfez (ed.), Dictionnaire critique de la communication. Paris: PUF. pp. 870-878 (1993)

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In spite of of its name, cognitive science is not yet a fully coherent and integrated science but rather a fairly loose coalition of largely independent disciplines, some descriptive and empirical (cognitive psychology, linguistics, neuroscience, cognitive anthropology), some speculative and foundational (philosophy), others both speculative and applied (artificial intelligence). What brought these disciplines together and still sustains their interdisciplinary cooperation is the dedication to explain, simulate and technically reproduce the workings of the human mind according to a distinct and rather well defined research program. This program has been so far the animating spirit and the integrative force in the formation and development of cognitive science. I will call it the 'core program.' Around the core program there is a much looser and less coherent outer paradigm, or set of paradigms, which historically has prepared the ground for the core program, to which the participating disciplines have contributed their insights, results and methods, and still do, and from which challenges to the core program have emerged and are likely to do so in the future
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