Cognitive science books?

Cognitive science books?

Post by David Chalme » Mon, 05 Aug 1991 08:28:56

>I am interested in finding out if there are any reference books which would be
>useful to someone who was either a novice in cognitive science or someone who
>was trained in one area which bears on cognitive science and would be
>interested in information about another.  For example, where would one find a
>dictionary or glossary of terms in philosphy of mind, generative grammar,
>cognitive psychology, cognitive neuroscience etc.  Also does anyone know
>of a source where one would find bibliographies in this area.

Intro books on cognitive science are coming out too fast to count
at the moment.  Of the many I've seen, by far the best is the three-volume
_Invitation to Cognitive Science_, edited by Osherson, from MIT/Bradford.
Three very nicely produced paperbacks, with well-written intro articles
on a wide range of topics, by some of the best people in the various fields.
It's strong on psychology, linguistics, and philosophy, but weak on AI.
A couple of other decent books on cognitive science in general, though
less comprehensive and more idiosyncratic than the above, are Gardner's
_The Mind's New Science_ and Flanagan's _The Science of Mind_.

The best intros to contemporary philosophy of mind are probably the
two books by the Churchlands: _Matter and Consciousness_ by Paul
and _Neurophilosophy_ by Pat (both from MIT/Bradford).  The latter also
covers some basic neuroscience; the philosophy is a bit more advanced
and argumentative.  Two slightly more advanced and thorough books by
Bechtel are also quite good (_Philosophy of Mind: An Intro for Cognitive
Science_ and _Philosophy of Science_, same subtitle, both from Erlbaum).
The best collections are Block's _Readings in the Philosophy of Psychology_
(MIT, 1980) and Lycan's _Mind and Cognition_ (Blackwell, 1990).

I haven't seen a really satisfactory intro to AI; there are a number
of "textbooks" but these tend to be boring and to omit non-traditional
approaches such as connectionism.  A recent book by Partridge (can't
remember title or publisher) seemed to cover a lot of ground while
also being very readable.  The _Readings_ series by Morgan Kaufmann
is quite comprehensive in various given areas of AI, but individual
volumes may be too specialized to serve as a basic reference.  The
recent _Machine Learning_ collection (Carbonell ed., MIT/Bradford),
has very good coverage of learning approaches.

There are a zillion texts in cognitive psychology.  I won't issue any
recommendations as I haven't looked closely at enough of them, but I
believe that Anderson's _Cognitive Psychology and Its Implications_ is
something of a standard.  In linguistics, the four-volume _Cambridge
Survey_ (edited by Newmeyer) looks very comprehensive.  Finally I can't
think of an obvious recommendation in cognitive neuroscience, though
the big book edited by Kandel and Schwartz (_Principles of Neural
Science_) should be a good bet.


Center for Research on Concepts and Cognition, Indiana University.
"It is not the least charm of a theory that it is refutable."