Reaching for mind: foundations of cognitive science

2 days: April 3-4, 1995

The assumption underlying this workshop is that Cognitive Science (CS) is in crisis. The crisis manifests itself, as exemplified by the recent Buffalo summer institute, in a complete lack of consensus among even the biggest names in the field on whether CS has or indeed should have a clearly identifiable focus of study; the issue of identifying this focus is a separate and more difficult one. Though academic programs in CS have in general settled into a pattern compatible with classical computationalist CS (Pylyshyn 1984, Von Eckardt 1993), including the relegation from focal consideration of consciousness, affect and social factors, two fronts have been opened on this classical position.

The first front is well-publicised and highly visible. Both Searle (1992) and Edelman refuse to grant any special status to information-processing in explanation of mental process. In contrast, they argue, we should focus on Neuroscience on the one hand and Consciousness on the other. The other front is ultimately the more compelling one. It consists of those researchers from inside CS who are currently working on consciousness, affect and social factors and do not see any incompatibility between this research and their vision of CS, which is that of a Science of Mind (see O Nuallain (in press) and Mc Kevitt and Patridge 1991, Mc Kevitt and Guo 1994).


The workshop will focus on three themes:


The following issues will be focussed upon during the workshop:


Our intention is to have as much discussion as possible during the workshop and to stress panel sessions and discussion rather than having formal paper presentations. The workshop will consist of half-hour presentations, with 15 minutes for discussion at the end of each presentation.


We hope to have an attendance between 25-50 people at the workshop.

Given the urgency of the topic, we expect it to be of interest not only to scientists in the AI/Cognitive Science (CS) area, but also to those in other of the sciences of mind who are curious about CS. We envisage researchers from Edinburgh, Leeds, York, Sheffield and Sussex attending from within England and many overseas visitors as the Conference Programme is looking very international.


Workshop notes/preprints will be published. If there is sufficient interest we will publish a book on the workshop with the American Artificial Intelligence Association (AAAI) Press.


Papers of not more than 8 pages should be submitted by electronic mail (preferably uuencoded compressed postscript) to Sean O Nuallain at the E-mail address given above. If you cannot submit your paper by e-mail please submit three copies by snail mail.

Submission Deadline: February 13th 1995
Notification Date: February 25th 1995
Camera ready Copy: March 10th 1995


Mc Kevitt, P. and D. Partridge (1991)
Problem description and hypothesis testing in Artificial Intelligence
In ``Artificial Intelligence and Cognitive Science '90'', Springer-Verlag British Computer Society Workshop Series, McTear, Michael and Norman Creaney (Eds.), 26-47, Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer-Verlag.
Also, in Proceedings of the Third Irish Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Cognitive Science (AI/CS-90), University of Ulster at Jordanstown, Northern Ireland, EU, September and as Technical Report 224, Department of Computer Science, University of Exeter, GB- EX4 4PT, Exeter, England, EU, September, 1991.

Mc Kevitt, P. and Guo, Cheng-ming (1995) From Chinese rooms to Irish rooms: new words on visions for language Artificial Intelligence Review Vol. 8. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Kluwer-Academic Publishers. (unabriged version)
First published: International Workshop on Directions of Lexical Research, August, 1994, Beijing, China.

O Nuallain, S (in press) The Search for Mind: a new foundation for CS. Norwood:Ablex

Pylyshyn, Z.(1984) Computation and Cognition. MIT Press

Searle, J (1992) The rediscovery of the mind. MIT Press.

Von Eckardt, B. (1993) What is Cognitive Science? MIT Press

Workshop chair

    Sean O Nuallain <>
    Dublin City University
    Dublin 9

    fax: (+44) 353 1 704 5442

Programme Committee

Last modified: Feb 2 1995
Malcolm Crawford <>

Institute for Language Speech and Hearing, University of Sheffield