Evidence and Explanations of Cognition Conference

Hosted by the Department of Philosophy
Join the Evidence and Explanations of Cognition Conference on 6 - 7 May 2021.

The Department of Philosophy at the University of Kent are hosting the Evidence and Explanations of Cognition Conference on 6 - 7 May 2021 via Zoom. Abstracts, conference description, and program are available here.

In this conference, we will engage with questions about how we are best to explain cognition by reflecting upon the nature and diversity of evidence in cognitive science. Evidence of an array of different objects now plays a role in cognitive science. For example, evidence of brain structure and function acquired via neuroimaging, evidence of (neurobiological) mechanisms acquired via mechanistic studies, and evidence of patterns of (verbal and non-verbal) behaviour acquired via a variety of experimental methods. It seems apparent, however, that different sub-disciplines of cognitive science will give priority to evidence of different kinds of things. For example, (cognitive) neuroscience will prioritise evidence of brain structure and function in a way that psychology might not.With this in mind, this conference will aim to critically engage with the following questions: what are the objects of evidence in cognitive science? How does the prioritisation of evidence of one or another object (e.g. brain structure, (neurobiological) mechanisms, evolutionary facts) relate to the preference for one or another kind of cognitive scientific explanation (e.g. cognitive models, mechanistic explanations, dynamic explanations)? Is one’s standard for explanatory success in cognitive science independent of one’s understanding of what counts as evidence in cognitive science? Is there any sense in which the evidence of cognitive science is unified? If not, what does this imply about the unity of cognitive science as a discipline?



  • Professor William Bechtel (University of California, San Diego)
  • Professor Lisa Bortolotti (University of Birmingham)
  • Professor Anthony Chemero (University of Cincinnati)
  • Professor Lindley Darden (University of Maryland)
  • Professor Edouard Machery (University of Pittsburgh)
  • Professor John Moult (University of Maryland)
  • Professor Bence Nanay (University of Antwerp)
  • Professor Richard Samuels (Ohio State University)
  • Samuel Taylor (University of Kent)
  • Professor Daniel Weiskopf (Georgia State University)
  • Professor Jon Williamson (University of Kent)

Attendance is free. Please register by May 1st, 2021 by sending an email to Samuel Da Taylor.

Booking details

Register by sending an email to Samuel Da Taylor.

Philosophy conference