Project: Cognitive Science in Search of Unity: Unification and Integration of Interdisciplinary Research
Principal Investigator: dr hab. Marcin Miłkowski, prof. PAN
My role: Co-investigator / Co-coordinator
Funding: National Science Centre, Poland, DEC-2014/14/E/HS1/00803, program SONATA BIS (2015-2020)
External website (link)
The objective of the project “Cognitive Science in Search of Unity” is to develop an account of unification and integration in cognitive science. Cognitive science is an interdisciplinary research field, in which methods, tools, and concepts from other disciplines are used. One can ask a fundamental question whether anything unifies the field; or whether it is not just a hotchpotch of heterogeneous research. This kind of doubt can be articulated with regard to any interdisciplinary research field. However, the existence of interdisciplinary collaboration means that there are real connections between disciplines and that their problems are related. But to really dispel the doubt against interdisciplinary research, one needs to answer the question what makes such conglomerates as cognitive science actually unified.
The hypothesis is that despite diversity – or rather thanks to diversity – interdisciplinary research fields can be unified, even if there is some proclivity towards disintegration or some disciplines absorb others. The unity in question does rely on using one fundamental notion (such as “cognition” or “mental representation”) or one methodology but on assuming a common set of hypotheses about cognitive mechanisms, described on multiple levels of organization by multiple disciplines. The primary tool of unification is developing multi-level models of mental mechanisms.