Philosophy of Mind and Cognitive Science: General

These books and journal articles which bear on counselling and therapy fall under the 'general' category in cognitive science and philosophy of mind.

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Cognitive Science and Philosophy of Mind


Eysenck, M.W. and M. Keane (2000) Cognitive Psychology: A Student's Handbook, 4th Edition. Hove: Psychology Press. [Amazon UK-hardcover | Amazon UK-paperback | Amazon US-'library binding' | Amazon US-'textbook binding']

Aimed at the undergraduate level, this handbook offers a wealth of information and provides a sound, thoroughly-referenced grounding in cognitive science, cognitive neuropsychology, and cognitive neuroscience. The text covers vision, perception, attention, memory, language, emotions, reasoning, creativity, and more.

Gigerenzer, G.; P.M. Todd, and the ABC Research Group (1999) Simple Heuristics That Make Us Smart. Oxford: Oxford University Press. [Amazon UK-hardcover | Amazon UK-paperback | Amazon US-hardcover | Amazon US-paperback]

This book from the Center for Adaptive Behavior and Cognition reports a wide range of research on bounded rationality and heuristics (general 'rules of thumb') -- that is, how human beings really make decisions. It will be useful not just to cognitive psychologists, researchers in behavioural finance and other areas concerned directly with human decision making, but also to counsellors and psychotherapists interested in an empirical look at how their clients might be reasoning.

Mulhauser, G.R. (1998) Mind Out of Matter: Topics in the Physical Foundations of Consciousness and Cognition. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers. [Amazon UK | Amazon US]

Written by the editor of this site, the book explores fundamental problems in the philosophy of mind and cognitive science, arguing that it is entirely possible to account for the richness of conscious experience within a wholly physicalist framework -- i.e., without resorting to mind/brain dualism. The book also critiques quantum mechanical approaches to understanding the mind and evaluates the relevance of chaos theory for the same purpose. Throughout, colourful thought experiments (chopped and frozen qualia, colour-blind neuroscientists, etc.) combine with rigorous analytical tools (complexity theory, information theory, logic) to illustrate the author's approach and to clarify a new theory of the conscious mind.

Note that the book appeared from a publisher seemingly determined to sell extortionately-priced books to university libraries, without apparent regard for distribution to a broader readership. Buyers and budding authors beware...

Snyder, A.W. and D.J. Mitchell (1999) 'Is Integer Arithmetic Fundamental to Mental Processing?: The Mind's Secret Arithmetic', Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B 266: 587-92.

The authors argue convincingly that the remarkable abilities of autistic savants are due to an abnormal ability to access low level levels of neural processing which are present in 'normal' individuals but not normally available to introspection. I.e., the neural circuitry responsible for lightning fast mental arithmetic, perfect pitch, artistic ability, and other special savant capabilities may well be present in all normal brains but simply be inaccessible. The authors leave open the question of why the brain should be so adept at integer arithmetic, equipartitioning, and similar feats.

Stuart-Hamilton, I. (1996) Dictionary of Cognitive Psychology, Revised Edition. London: Jessica Kingsley. [Amazon UK-hardcover | Amazon UK-paperback | Amazon US-hardcover | Amazon US-paperback]

This slim dictionary is not intended to offer depth, but it makes a good start on a very broad range of topics and may be a help to those branching out into reading in unfamiliar areas of cognition.

Wilson, R.A. and F.C. Keil, eds. (1999) The MIT Encyclopedia of the Cognitive Sciences. Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press. [Amazon UK-hardcover | Amazon UK-paperback | Amazon US-hardcover | Amazon US-paperback| Amazon US-software ]

Including 471 main articles, virtually all with their own lists of references and further reading, plus half a dozen longer introductory essays, this massive volume is the gold standard of broad reference works in the cognitive sciences.


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This page was last reviewed by Dr Greg Mulhauser, Thursday, 14 October 2021.