chapter  1
Cognitive Psychology and Philosophy of Mind
Pages 12

Discourse on the nature of thought has been an integral feature of the history of philosophy since the time of Socrates and his anthropocentric dialogues. And, although experimental modes of inquiry do not appear until the nineteenth cen­ tury, this older philosophical tradition turns up any number of important leads and insights. It is not these, however, that will most repay the attention of contemporary psychologists who have, after all, committed themselves to the scientific study of thought or “ cognitive processes.” The modem investigator may be impressed but generally not informed by the conclusions and overall perspectives arising from philosophical reflections on the subject. Instead, what most recommend the latter are the larger implications philosophers have drawn from their assessments of human cognition; implications of metaphysical, moral, social, and political consequence.