CFP: The 30th Annual Boulder Conference on the History and Philosophy of Science

October 10-12, 2014, Boulder, CO, United States

Neurons, Mechanisms, and the Mind: The History and Philosophy of Cognitive Neuroscience

Our developing understanding of the mind depends extensively on neural data collected by fMRI, EEG, and PET, among other methods, and by the analysis of the data so collected, by, for example, decoding applications of machine learning algorithms. The prominence of cognitive neuroscience among the cognitive sciences and the widespread reporting in the popular press of (interpretations of) its results stand as testaments to the power and intrigue associated with this neurally oriented approach. This conference will focus on substantive theoretical questions that arise in connection with the flourishing field of cognitive neuroscience. These might include questions about the data-collection methodologies themselves, about ways of analyzing or modeling the data collected, about relations between the so-called personal and subpersonal levels (or conscious and subconscious levels), and about the localization of cognitive functions. They might also include questions about the history and meaning of the cognitive neuroscience “revolution” and about the bearing of its results on issues of historical importance in the humanities (what is the self?), on issues in neuroethics (are we morally responsible for our subconscious thought processes?), and on issues in history and philosophy of science more broadly construed (does cognitive neuroscience discover psychological laws?).

Keynote speakers: William Bechtel (UC-San Diego), Carrie Figdor (Iowa), and Tor Wager (CU-Boulder)

The Committee for the History and Philosophy of Science is co-sponsored by the departments of Anthropology, Chemistry and Biochemistry, Geological Sciences, History, Mathematics, Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology, Philosophy, Physics, the College of Arts and Sciences, and the Center for Humanities and the Arts.

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Paul Sutter
Associate Professor of History
Director of Graduate Studies in History
University of Colorado at Boulder
212 Hellems Hall
UCB 234
Boulder, CO 80309

Call for papers

Faculty should submit abstracts (maximum 1000 words) and graduate students should submit full papers. All submissions should be prepared for blind review, and should be suitable for 45-minute sessions. The deadline for submissions is JULY 1, 2014. Please send submissions to

Travel stipends ($100) are available for graduate students whose submissions are accepted for presentation.

Deadline: July 1, 2014

Posted: April 22, 2014