Consciousness, Cognitive Schemata, and Relativism: Multidisciplinary Explorations in Cognitive Science (Studies in Cognitive Systems)

M. Kamppinen

The purpose of this book is to illustrate how empirical and conceptual problems interact in modern cognitive science. A multidisciplinary approach encourages us to redraw the boundaries between conceptual and empirical research. The pervading theme is the distinction between ontology and phenomenology. Part I, Cognitive models of consciousness, reviews and evaluates the contemporary discussion concerning consciousness. We suggest that the first-person, phenomenological point of view should be preserved in theories of consciousness. Part II, Cognitive schemata, deals with methodological issues, especially with cognitive explanations in anthropology. In Part III, Relativism and cognitivism, the classical problem of relativism inherent in the study of doxastic diversity is studied in the novel context provided by cognitivism. Cognitivism appears to provide a solution to the problem of relativism, but, by the same token, it invites a more profound version of relativism. For students and scholars in cognitive science, especially those working in cognitive anthropology and neuropsychology. The book does not require any previous education in philosophy. The philosophical themes and their relevance in modern empirical research are presented in accessible form. The book can be used as a university textbook for the courses that serve to introduce the students to the philosophical background of cognitive science.

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