What happened to cognitive science?

Modified: 2021-01-19

Nuñez et al. (2019) analyzed the state of cognitive science using four methods: two were bibliometric and two were socio-institutional. They concluded that the field of cognitive science has "lost impetus, focus and recognition" (p. 782). At the end they propose that following Miller (2003) and others that "cognitive sciences" may be a better term for the field in its present state.

Two years ago when I revised this course I noted that psychology had become the dominant disciplinary force in cognitive science (CS). So, in my redesign I put a brief introduction to psychology first and followed that with similar modules on biology, language & linguistics, philosophy, computer science, and social science (sociology, anthropology, and economics). The idea was to provide students with enough background in the "founding disciplines" (see below) of CS.

Earlier, I had moved the course into a more applied format so the remainder of the course focused on the following topics and, in all instances, looked at the portions of those topics that were closest to CS. Those topics are; vision, interfaces, E-commerce, language, hypermedia & multimedia, usability, and encryption and privacy.

Let's now look at the article in some depth:

Me again: By now you should see why I ended up structuring the course the way I did. I need you to have, at least, some passing knowledge of the foundational disciplines of CS. But, at the same time you need to understand that the original intent of CS has not been realized. Instead, CS has become psychology heavy, AI heavy, and practical. It is what it is.

FYI, one of your essay questions on Test 1 will come from this article.
Back to CS Main Page