Projects & Publications

Since 1992, the Centre has run a number of major interdisciplinary projects involving a series of workshops over one or more years, and one or more major international conferences. Workshops are for staff, research students, and invited participants. But the international conferences are open to the public.

Each project has resulted in the publication of one or more collections of original interdisciplinary essays based on the conferences.

The Centre is currently involved with the AHRC Culture and the Mind Project, a five year project bringing together researchers in philosophy, anthropology, and psychology to investigate the philosophical consequences of the impact of culture on the mind and the cognitive and evolutionary foundations of culture.


Previous Projects & Publications

 

The Innate Mind Series

Volume 1: Structure and Contents (Oxford University Press, 2005)
Volume 2: Culture and Cognition (Oxford University Press, 2006)
Volume 3: Foundations and the Future (Oxford University Press, 2007)

"There is no more central topic in philosophy and the human sciences than the question of innateness. The innateness project and the books it has produced represent an unparalleled effort to grapple with it."
John Tooby and Leda Cosmides, Co-directors, UCSB Center for Evolutionary Psychology


The Innate Mind: Foundations and the Future

The Innate Mind: Foundations and the Future. Edited by Peter Carruthers, Stephen Laurence, and Stephen Stich (Oxford University Press, 2007).

This is the third and final volume in a set of volumes on the subject of innateness, based on the AHRC Innateness and the Structure of the Mind Project. The extent to which the mind is innate is one of the central questions in the human sciences, with important implications for many surrounding debates. By bringing together the top nativist scholars in philosophy, psychology, and allied disciplines these volumes provide a comprehensive assessment of nativist thought and a definitive reference point for future nativist inquiry.

The Innate Mind: Foundations and the Future addresses such questions as: What is innateness? Is it a confused notion? What is at stake in debates between nativists and empiricists? What is the relationship between genes and innateness? How do innate structures and learned information interact to produce adult forms of cognition, e.g. about number, and how does such learning take place? What innate abilities underlie the creative aspect of language use, and of creative cognition generally? What are the innate foundations of human motivation, and of human moral cognition? The editors have provided an introduction giving some of the background to the debates about innateness and introducing each of the subsequent essays, as well as a consolidated bibliography that will be a valuable reference resource for all those interested in this area. The volume will be of great importance to anyone interested in the interplay between culture and the innate mind.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

"A set of penetrating investigations of a key issue in the understanding of the mind, one that is often embraced or denounced but seldom analyzed. This collection is a valuable contribution to philosophy, psychology, linguistics, and neuroscience."
Steven Pinker, Johnstone Professor of Psychology, Harvard University

"This is a strikingly good collection, a real delight to read. I don't know how Carruthers, Laurence, and Stich did it, but they commissioned some of the smartest scientists and philosophers around to contribute their best work on several of the most exciting and cutting-edge topics. The result is a series of clearly written and fiercely argued papers on everything from the nature of creativity, the relationship between language and number, social cognition in babies, and the origins of morality."
Paul Bloom, Professor of Psychology, Yale University

"Volume 3 is both a fitting conclusion to an enormously important project pitting nativist and empiricst theories of mind and an exciting opening to the future of this central debate on the character of mental life. It will be read by anyone who is seriously concerned with the question of what is innate and what must be learned."
Richard E. Nisbett, Theodore M. Newcomb Distinguished University Professor and Research Professor, Institute for Social Research

"This book collects and synthesizes some of the finest contemporary work on human nature and mind. Its contributors address some fo the diciest and most enduring questions concerning the origins of knowledge, the invariant and variable aspects of human nature, and the uniquely human propensity for creating cultures and new systems of knowledge. A wide range of perspectives is represented in these chapters, each with something to offer students of human nature. The three-volume series that this book concludes should be required reading for all current and aspiring cognitive scientists."
Elizabeth Spelke, Marshall L. Berkman Professor of Psychology, Harvard University

Please see the AHRC Innateness and the Structure of the Mind Project’s website for more information about this project.


The Innate Mind: Culture and Cognition

The Innate Mind: Culture and Cognition. Edited by Peter Carruthers, Stephen Laurence, and Stephen Stich (Oxford University Press, 2006).

The Innate Mind: Stucture and Contents

This is the second volume of a projected three-volume set on the subject of innateness, based on the AHRC Innateness and the Structure of the Mind Project. The extent to which the mind is innate is one of the central questions in the human sciences, with important implications for many surrounding debates. By bringing together the top nativist scholars in philosophy, psychology, and allied disciplines these volumes provide a comprehensive assessment of nativist thought and a definitive reference point for future nativist inquiry.

The Innate Mind: Culture and Cognition concerns the interaction of culture and the innate mind, addressing such questions as: To what extent are mature cognitive capacities a reflection of particular cultures and to what extent are they a product of innate elements? How do innate elements interact with culture to achieve mature cognitive capacities? How do minds generate and shape cultures? How are cultures processed by minds? The editors have provided an introduction giving some of the background to the debates about innateness and introducing each of the subsequent essays, as well as a consolidated bibliography that will be a valuable reference resource for all those interested in this area. The volume will be of great importance to anyone interested in the interplay between culture and the innate mind.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

"This is a fantastic volume. It beautifully answers the tired complaint that we need to get beyond the simple nature/nurture dichotomy. This collection of essays represents a striking advance in our understanding of both nativism and culture. It also provides the basis for a bright future in charting how innate and cultural components interact. Together with the other Innate Mind volumes assembled by this team, this volume represents a real landmark in the development of nativism."
Shaun Nichols, University of Arizona, and author of Sentimental Rules and co-author of Mindreading.

Please see the AHRC Innateness and the Structure of the Mind Project’s website for more information about this project.


The Innate Mind: Structure and Contents

The Innate Mind: Structure and Contents. Edited by Peter Carruthers, Stephen Laurence, and Stephen Stich (Oxford University Press, 2005).

The Innate Mind: Stucture and Contents

This is the first volume of a projected three-volume set on the subject of innateness, based on the AHRC Innateness and the Structure of the Mind Project. The extent to which the mind is innate is one of the central questions in the human sciences, with important implications for many surrounding debates. By bringing together the top nativist scholars in philosophy, psychology, and allied disciplines these volumes provide a comprehensive assessment of nativist thought and a definitive reference point for future nativist inquiry.

The Innate Mind: Structure and Contents concerns the fundamental architecture of the mind, addressing such questions as: What capacities, processes, representations, biases, and connections are innate? How do these innate elements feed into a story about the development of our mature cognitive capacities, and which of them are shared with other members of the animal kingdom? The editors have provided an introduction giving some of the background to the debates about innateness and introducing each of the subsequent essays, as well as a consolidated bibliography that will be a valuable reference resource for all those interested in this area. The volume will be of great importance to all researchers and students interested in the fundamental nature and powers of the human mind.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

“This is a terrific collection. It’s not just a survey of the terrain, though it is that; it also contains a number of papers that push the boundaries and make major new contributions to several hot debates in cognitive science… I predict that the book will become a must-have collection, not just for all participants in these fields, but also for those not working in these areas and desiring a comprehensive and accessible guide to the issues.”
Fiona Cowie, California Institute of Technology, and author of What’s Within: Nativism Reconsidered.

Please see the AHRC Innateness and the Structure of the Mind Project’s website for more information about this project.


The Cognitive Basis of Science

The Cognitive Basis of Science. Edited by Peter Carruthers, Stephen Stich, and Michael Siegal (Cambridge University Press, 2002).

The Cognitive Basis of Science

The Cognitive Basis of Science concerns the question “What makes science possible?” Specifically, what features of the human mind and of human culture and cognitive development permit and facilitate the conduct of science? The essays in this volume address these questions, which are inherently interdisciplinary, requiring co-operation between philosophers, psychologists and others in the social and cognitive sciences. They concern the cognitive, social, and motivational underpinnings of scientific reasoning in children and lay persons as well as in professional scientists. The editors’ introduction lays out the background to the debates, and the volume includes a consolidated bibliography that will be a valuable reference resource for all those interested in this area. The volume will be of great importance to all researchers and students interested in the philosophy or psychology of scientific reasoning, as well as those, more generally, who are interested in the nature of the human mind. (from the back cover).

TABLE OF CONTENTS


Evolution and the Human Mind: Modularity, Language, and Meta-Cognition

Evolution and the Human Mind: Modularity, Language, and Meta-Cognition.Edited by Peter Carruthers and Andrew Chamberlain (Cambridge University Press, 2000).

Evolution and the Human Mind

How did our minds evolve? Can evolutionary considerations illuminate the question of the basic architecture of the human mind? These are two of the main questions addressed in Evolution and the Human Mind by a distinguished interdisciplinary team of philosophers, psychologists, anthropologists and archaeologists. The essays focus especially on issues to do with modularity of mind, the evolution and significance of natural language, and the evolution of our capacity for meta-cognition (thought about thought) together with its implications for consciousness. The editors have provided an introduction which lays out the background to the questions addressed in the remaining essays, and a consolidated bibliography which will be a valuable reference resource for all those interested in this area. The volume will be of great interest to all researchers and students interested in the evolution and nature of the mind. (from the back cover).

TABLE OF CONTENTS


Language and Thought: Interdisciplinary Themes

Language and Thought: Interdisciplinary Themes. Edited by Peter Carruthers and Jill Boucher (Cambridge University Press, 1998).

Language and Thought: Interdisciplinary Themes

What is the place of language in human cognition? Do we sometimes think in natural language? Or is language for purposes of interpersonal communication only? Although these questions have been much debated in the past, they have almost dropped from sight in recent decades amongst those interested in the cognitive sciences. Language and Thought is intended to persuade such people to think again. It brings together essays by a distinguished interdisciplinary team of philosophers and psychologists, who discuss various ways in which language may be implicated in human cognition. The editors have provided an introduction which lays out the basic terms and history of the debate, and a consolidated bibliography which will provide a valuable reference for all those interested in this area. The volume will be of great interest to all researchers and students interested in language and its place in cognition. (from the back cover).

TABLE OF CONTENTS


Theories of Theories of Mind

Theories of Theories of Mind.  Edited by Peter Carruthers and Peter K Smith (Cambridge University Press, 1996).

Theories of Theories of Mind

Theories of Theories of Mind brings together contributions by a distinguished international team of philosophers, psychologists, and primatologists, who between them address such questions as: what is it to understand the thoughts, feelings and intentions of other people? how does such an understanding develop in the normal child? why, unusually, does it fail to develop? and is any such mentalistic understanding shared by members of other species? The volumeís four parts together offer a state of the art survey of the major topics in the theory-theory/simulationism debate within philosophy of mind, developmental psychology, the aetiology of autism and primatology. The editors have provided an introduction which maps the content of the book and surveys the recent history of the field, and a consolidated bibliography which will provide a useful reference resource for all those interested in this area. The volume will be of great interest to researchers and students in all areas interested in the "theory of mind" debate. (from the back cover)

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS