Core Team Members
William Bechtel, Project PI, is Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at UCSD and holds appointments in the Center for Chronobiology, the Interdisciplinary Program in Cognitive Science, and the Science Studies Program. Over his career he has addressed a variety of topics in both philosophy of science and cognitive science. A central theme that runs through his research is the attempt to articulate an account of mechanistic explanation, and recently of dynamic mechanistic explanation, that is grounded in examples from cell and molecular biology, neuroscience, and cognitive science. He has engaged in a variety of cross-disciplinary endeavors involving psychology and cognitive science, cell biology, and most recently chronobiology.
Adele Abrahamsen, Co-PI, is a Project Scientist appointed to the Center for Research in Language at UCSD. Her empirical research has focused on language and cognition in adults, children, and toddlers, including studies of the onset of symbol use giving equal emphasis to manual and vocal modalities. In another line of research extending over 20 years, she has published papers on interdisciplinary relations in such venues as Synthese. During this same period she has collaborated with the PI on articles and a book on connectionism and neural networks, then on a variety of papers addressing the history of cognitive science and mechanistic explanation, and most recently on papers developing the framework of dynamic mechanistic explanation.
Dan Burnston is a graduate student in the Philosophy Department and the Interdisciplinary PhD Program in Cognitive Science at UCSD. He completed an MA in Philosophy in the Neurophilosophy track at Georgia State University. His master’s thesis was on philosophical theories of concepts and their applicability to theoretical concepts. Part of this project involved examining the cognitive science literature on theoretical concepts and conceptual change in science. During the current academic year he is serving as Editorial Assistant to the journalPhilosophical Psychology and is pursuing course work on visual processing and reasoning.
Benjamin Sheredos is a graduate student in the Philosophy Department and the Interdisciplinary PhD Program in Cognitive Science at UCSD. He began studying both philosophy and cognitive science as an undergraduate at Rutgers University, New Brunswick. He then earned an MA in Philosophy in the Neurophilosophy track at Georgia State University, focusing his scientific coursework on molecular neuroscience and his master’s thesis on the intentionality of emotions. Since arriving at UCSD, he has continued coursework in neuroscience, and is currently participating in a research collaboration in chronobiology with the PI and faculty and graduate students from psychology, biology, and biological engineering. This past fall he served as TA in the undergraduate course on circadian rhythms.
Peter Cheng, Professor of Cognitive Science, Department of Informatics, University of Sussex
Mary Hegarty, Professor of Psychology, University of California San Barbara
Nancy Nersessian, Regents Professor of Cognitive Science, Georgia Institute of Technology