Phil/Psych 447 Phil 673

Seminar in Cognitive Science: Cognition and Social Change

Week 2: Social Change


  1. Does 3-analysis provide a good alternative to traditional conceptual analysis using defnitions?
  2. How can the 3-analysis of social change be improved?
  3. What would be a useful 3-analysis of social media?
  4. What other explanatory styles are there besides narrative, deductive, and mechanistic?
  5. How can the 3-analysis of mechanism be improved?
  6. What are the strengths and weaknesses of mechanistic explanations?
  7. What is a social mechanism?
  8. How can the 3-analysis of emergence be improved?
  9. Is emergence a legitimate part of scientific explanation?
  10. What is the relation between emergence and mechanism?
  11. Does multilevel emergence make sense?
  12. What is missing from the social cognitive-emotional workup?
  13. What are tipping points, criticial transitions, and how do they relate to mechanisms and emergence?


Blouw, P., Solodkin, E., Thagard, P., & Eliasmith, C. (forthcoming). Concepts as semantic pointers: Aframework and computational model. Cognitive Science.

Emergence in Stanford Encylopedia of Philosophy

Scientific Explanation in Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy


Phil/Psych 447

Paul Thagard

Computational Epistemology Laboratory.

This page updated Sept. 15, 2015