Institut | Nicod ----- Philosophy, Cognitive Science, Social Sciences


Scientific explanations of physical, chemical, biological and other natural phenomena do not appeal to mental representations. Explanations in the social sciences and the humanities, however, are replete with references to mental representations allegedly entertained by human individuals and/or groups. How then do explanations in the social sciences relate to explanations in the natural sciences?

The research carried by members of the Jean Nicod Institute (UMR 8129) lies at the interface between the cognitive sciences, the social sciences and the humanities. The team presently consists of nine CNRS researchers, nine university professors and three post-doctoral students, plus a number of doctoral students. The Jean Nicod Institute has arisen in part as a result of changes within CREA (Ecole Polytechnique).At present, it is hosted by the Ecole Normale Supérieure and the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales. The main scientific areas covered by the Jean Nicod Institute are: linguistics (semantics and pragmatics), cognitive anthropology, philosophy of mind and political science. Although most members of the group are professional philosophers, the issues addressed are not purely conceptual: they have a strong empirical component. For several years, members of the group have had numerous collaborations with cognitive psychologists, developmental psychologists, neuropsychologists and cognitive neuroscientists.


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