Foundations of Cognitive ScienceFaculty: DiSessa, Dreyfus, Feldman, Gopnik, Lakoff, Palmer, Malik, Pirolli, Russell, Searle, Wilensky, and Zadeh.
Philosophical Issues: Professors DiSessa, Dreyfus, Gopnik, Lakoff, Palmer, Pirolli, Russell and Searle are analyzing the philosophical commitments and theoretical assumptions underlying cognitive science and trying to understand their relation to the nature of minds. Consciousness, intentionality, "being-in-the-world," and developmental history play pivotal roles in the philosophy of mind emerging at ICS, which contrasts with the functionalist approach that dominates cognitive science elsewhere.
Computational Issues: Professors Feldman, Malik, Russell, Wilensky and Zadeh are exploring alternative computational approaches to the standard rule-following formalism of cognitive science. The continuous structure of "fuzzy logic" provides a more flexible and robust system for reasoning than classical logic, and massively parallel processing in neuron-like connectionist networks allows more efficient and effective mechanisms for accomplishing perception, language understanding, and thinking in computers.