CFP: Mind, Cognition, and Neuroscience: A Philosophical Introduction

Submission deadline: December 15, 2018

Topic areas


       Mind, Cognition, and Neuroscience: A Philosophical Introduction

                          Benjamin D. Young & Carolyn Dicey Jennings

Call for chapter proposals for an edited textbook on the philosophy of cognitive neuroscience

We are seeking proposals from faculty who want to join us in generating an up-to-date and student-friendly textbook modeled on scientific textbooks that are written by experts in their areas of specialization. Mind, Cognition, and Neuroscience: A Philosophical Introduction will be edited by Benjamin D. Young and Carolyn Dicey Jennings and published by Routledge Press (under contract). Given the breadth of this field, we think it best that each chapter be written by someone currently doing research and teaching in that area. Our aim is that each chapter will be authored by someone intimately familiar with the relevant research who also has the pedagogical expertise for conveying the fine nuances of that topic in straightforward language. 

To allow for the widest possible participation we are soliciting chapter proposals with a preference for authors currently engaged in teaching the material they hope to write about. 

If you are interested in taking part in this project, we kindly ask that you consult the book proposal, select a chapter (or multiple chapters) you would like to contribute, and provide us with a one page skeletal outline of the sections and topics you propose covering in that chapter, as well as a brief abstract for the chapter. The chapter outline should conform to the generic chapter outline provided in the book proposal – included below.


Book Structure

 4 sections: Introductory Material; Cognition; Consciousness; Situating the Mind

 3-5-page introductory overview of each section to situate students 

 15 pages per chapter

Chapter Outline

            First Page        

                        Brief outline of topics covered – 1-2 paragraph box

                        Key terms and definitions – side bar 

            Section 1: Introduction 

                         (box with 3-5 Paragraphs on Neuroscientific findings relevant to topic)

                         Historical overview 

                         Background theories

                         Historical development 

            Section 2: Contemporary Issues

            Section 3: Future Directions

            Last Page

                        Summary of Key Ideas

                        Further readings

                        Discussion topics 

Additionally, please provide us with a brief description of the text boxes and diagrams/infographics you anticipate using in your chapter. We would also appreciate it if you could provide us with a list of 3-5 key terms and 3-5 suggested further readings that you intend to use in your chapter.

Along with the abstract and outline, please submit a CV. We would especially like to know if you have taught the topic you would like to write about or a course covering the general area of Philosophy of Cognitive Science and/or Neuroscience. 

It is possible that this project will include an online supplementary website. In order to determine the feasibility of this website, please let us know in your chapter proposal whether you would be willing to provide content for this website in addition to the chapter. Such content may include lecture slides, study guides, possible exam questions, or other content.

We welcome feedback on the project, including whether you would use this textbook in your future courses. 

The deadline for submissions is December 15th, 2018. 

Please email submissions to or

We will notify contributors of the status of their proposal in February 2019. 

Final chapters will be due in February 2020. 


Mind, Cognition, and Neuroscience: A Philosophical Introduction

Benjamin D. Young & Carolyn Dicey Jennings


Mind, Cognition, and Neuroscience: A Philosophical Introduction is specifically designed for interdisciplinary audiences. The textbook will offer a comprehensive overview of a wide range of contemporary topics that are relevant to the study of mind. Each chapter will situate current philosophical research and neuroscientific findings within historically relevant debates in philosophy of cognitive science. By situating cutting-edge research within the theoretical trajectory of the field, students will gain a fundamental understanding of the cognitive neurosciences, as well as the progressive nature of the field. To enable this level of detail, each chapter will be written by experts in their area of specialization. The textbook will be modeled upon scientific textbooks, making it accessible to a wide audience without presupposing a background in philosophy or neuroscience.

Philosophy textbooks do not adequately mirror the scientific progression from cognitive science to neuroscience. Over the past few decades there has been a vast increase in the number of philosophers studying theoretical issues in neuroscience and applying them to topics in cognitive science, yet the textbooks have not kept up. Philosophy of cognitive science textbooks are outdated with little to no treatment of the relevant neuroscience. Not only are the current textbooks on offer frustratingly inadequate, none of them include detailed coverage of the full range ofcontemporary topics. With the increased interest in the philosophy ofneuroscience there is a tremendous need for a new textbook. Mind, Cognition, and Neuroscience will synergistically combine research from philosophy and neuroscience in an accessible manner for a broad interdisciplinary audience.

The increased number of philosophers working in the philosophy of neuroscience has been mirrored by a growing interdisciplinary interest in what philosophers can offer science students studying the mind. The textbook would be geared towards interdisciplinary students yet designed for use in rigorous philosophy courses. With these audiences in mind, Mind, Cognition, and Neuroscience will be written for both upper-level undergraduate and graduate courses. The textbook will make it possible to teach a cohort of both philosophy and interdisciplinary science students without assuming a prior understanding of philosophical concepts or familiarity with neuroscience.

Currently there is no textbook geared to this interdisciplinary population at the necessary level of specialization, but to make matters worse the textbooks on offer are not comprehensive in the range of topics that are covered. Often the topics are selected based on the author’s (or editor’s) area of specialization, which is not surprising given the rapid expansion of the field. One individual cannot be a specialist in all areas of the scientific domains relevant to the philosophical study of cognitive neuroscience. To circumvent this problem, the proposed textbook will be a compilation of the top research in each topic area, with each chapter written by a specialist on that topic. To control for coherence, the collection will be copyedited for a cohesive voice and each chapter will follow a prescribed format. Given the vastness of the field, the textbook will be broken into four sections.

The textbook will be divided into four sections thereby enabling the lecturer either to teach the textbook as a whole with one chapter per lecture or by selecting key topics from each section. The first section will cover background areas of knowledge necessary for both philosophy and science students to fully comprehend the further chapters in sections 2-4. The second section transitions to classical debates in philosophy of cognitive science concerning cognition. Section two expands on previous textbooks by including chapters on language, concepts & non- conceptual content, and animal cognition. Section three covers the recent growth area of consciousness studies. This section provides both an overview of the philosophical debate and neurobiological theories, as well as offering coverage of recent advances in studying attention and the nonconscious mind. Section four concludes the textbook with topics situating the mind, such as the relation between cognition and perception, the nature of skill-based action, the embodied nature of the mind, and the role of society in shaping cognition.

Aside from the greater range of topics covered, the textbook will also be structured to implement the innovative designs of science textbooks. Mind, Cognition, and Neuroscience will be modeled upon leading textbooks used in biology, psychology, and neuroscience. Each chapter will be written in an accessible manner for the full range ofinterdisciplinary students. The chapters will have a unified structured and progression, as well as sections outlining the conceptual flow ofthe topic, introductory text boxes defining key terms and concepts, as well as a separate section devoted just to the neuroscience relevant to each chapter. By including these features every student is provided with the necessary resources to fully comprehend each chapter.

Market and Readership

The Mind, Cognition, and Neuroscience textbook would be predominantly marketed towards universities that offer a course on philosophy of cognitive science or philosophy of neuroscience. While the textbook is geared towards a wide interdisciplinary audience, it will be primarily designed for upper level undergraduate courses and introductory level graduate courses. The intended readership is both neuroscience students and philosophy students. To ensure that it fits the needs of this broad audience, the introductory section serves as toolkit of knowledge for both populations. Mind, Cognition, and Neuroscience could also be used for empirically oriented courses in philosophy of mind. Additionally, given the textbooks devotion to introducing philosophers to key concepts and research in neuroscience the textbook might be read by philosophers who do not have a strong background or education in neuroscience but nonetheless would like to begin working in this area.

Textbook Structure, Unified Chapter Outline, and Proposed Table of Contents,

Below is the proposed structure of the textbook, the unified chapter outline that each contributor is expected to maintain, and the table of contents. Each author is expect to maintain the outlined progression of their chapter, supply keywords, and provide one diagram or infographic that enhances the students understand so as to maintain coherence of the overall textbook.

Book Structure

4 sections: Introductory Material; Cognition; Consciousness; Situating the Mind 3-5 page introductory overview of each section to situate students
15 pages per chapter

Chapter Outline

First Page
Brief outline of topic covered – 1-2 paragraph box Key terms and definitions – side bar

Mind, Cognition, and Neuroscience: A Philosophical Introduction 3 Benjamin D. Young & Carolyn Dicey Jennings

Section 1: Introduction
(box with 3-5 Paragraphs on Neuroscientific findings relevant to topic) Historical overview
Background theories
Historical development

Section 2: Contemporary Issues Section 3: Future Directions Last Page

Summary of Key Ideas Further readings Discussion topics

Part I – Introductory Material

Ch. 1 Introduction – brief overview to situate student
Structure of textbook - conceptual progression
The interplay between philosophy and cognitive neuroscience

                B. Young & C.D. Jennings

Ch.2 Introduction to Cognitive Neuroscience

Ch. 3 Introduction to Experimental Methods in Cognitive Neuroscience Ch. 4 Introduction to Philosophy of Mind
Ch. 5 Introduction to Philosophy of Science
Ch. 6 Metaphysical issues of relevance to cognitive neuroscience

Ch. 7 Epistemic issues pertaining to neuroscientific methods

Part II – Cognition

Ch. 8 Thought and Artificial Intelligence
Ch. 9 Modularity
Ch. 10 Mental Architecture – computational models of mind

Ch. 11 Language
Ch. 12 Mental Content
Ch. 13 Concepts and non-conceptual content
Ch. 14 Animal Cognition

Part III – Consciousness

Ch. 15 Kinds of Consciousness
Ch. 16 Philosophical Theories of Consciousness

Ch. 17 Neurobiological Theories of Consciousness

Ch. 18 Unity of Consciousness
Ch. 19 Attention
Ch. 20 Time and Memory
Ch. 21 The Unconscious Mind

Part IV – Situating the Mind

Ch. 22 Perception
Ch. 23 Mental Imagery
Ch. 24 Action and Skill
Ch. 25 Embodiment and Enactivism

Ch. 26 Emotions

Ch. 27 Social Cognition and Theory of Mind

Ch. 28 Neuroscience and Psychopathologies

Ch. 29 Neuroethics


Benjamin D. Young is an Assistant Professor in Philosophy and a member of the Graduate Faculty in Interdisciplinary Neuroscience at the University of Nevada, Reno. Previously he held a Kreitman Post-Doctoral Fellowship in the Department ofBrain and Cognitive Sciences at Ben- Gurion University, as well as Visiting Assistant Professorship and Post-Doctoral Fellowship in the Department of Cognitive Science at Hebrew University. He conducts research at the intersection of cognitive neuroscience and philosophy with a particular emphasis on olfaction. Most recently he has published articles on non-conceptual content, qualitative consciousness in the absence of awareness, and the perceptible objects of smell. Ben's current projects concern non-conscious phenomenology, the senses, and a long overdue book on the philosophy of smell.

Carolyn Dicey Jennings is Assistant Professor ofPhilosophy and Cognitive Science at University of California, Merced. She was previously a postdoctoral researcher with Bence Nanay’s Between Perception and Action project at University of Antwerp and a research assistant with Takeo Watanabe’s Vision Lab at Boston University. She graduated with a PhD in Philosophy and an MA in Psychology (Brain, Behavior, and Cognition track) from Boston University in 2012. Her work draws from neuroscience and psychology with a focus on the topic of attention and its impact on other functions of the mind. Her research has been published in Analysis, Synthese, Journal of the American Philosophical Association, Neuroethics, Consciousness & Cognition, and Philosophical Studies. She is writing a book under contract with Cambridge University Press: The Attending Mind.

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