Paul Thagard: History of Cognitive Science and Its Relevance to Climate Change
12:45 PM, Monday 24 May 2021 EDT (1 hour 15 minutes)
Cognitive science is the interdisciplinary study of mind, embracing psychology, computer modeling, neuroscience, linguistics, anthropology, and philosophy. Its intellectual roots are in the 1950s when cognitive psychology and artificial intelligence began. Its organizational roots are in the 1970s when the term “cognitive science” was introduced and the Cognitive Science Society was formed. Cognitive science combines ideas and methods from multiple fields to address important questions about intelligent thinking. Climate change raises mental questions that require interdisciplinary answers. Why do almost all scientists believe that global warming is caused by human activities and that serious actions must be taken to slow it? Why do some powerful politicians and wealthy people deny that climate change is a problem? How can climate change deniers be convinced that climate change is a serious problem? Why do many people who believe that climate change is serious nevertheless do little about it?
- Thagard, P., & Findlay, S. D. (2011). Changing minds about climate change: Belief revision, coherence, and emotion. In E. J. Olsson & S.Enqvist (Eds.), Belief revision meets philosophy of science (pp. 329-345). Berlin: Springer.
- Homer-Dixon, T.,Milkoreit, M., Mock, S. J.,Schröder, T., &Thagard, P. (2014). The conceptual structure of social disputes: Cognitive-affective maps as a tool for conflict analysis and resolution. SAGE Open, 4. DOI: 10.1177/2158244014526210.