Computational approaches dominate contemporary cognitive science, promising a unified, scientific explanation of how the mind works. However, computational approaches raise major philosophical and scientific questions. In what sense is the mind computational? How do computational approaches explain perception, learning, and decision making? What kinds of challenges should computational approaches overcome to advance our understanding of mind, brain, and behaviour?

The Routledge Handbook of the Computational Mind is an outstanding overview and exploration of these issues and the first philosophical collection of its kind. Comprising thirty-five chapters by an international team of contributors from different disciplines, the Handbook is organised into four parts:

  • History and future prospects of computational approaches
  • Types of computational approach
  • Foundations and challenges of computational approaches
  • Applications to specific parts of psychology.

Essential reading for students and researchers in philosophy of mind, philosophy of psychology, and philosophy of science, The Routledge Handbook of the Computational Mind will also be of interest to those studying computational models in related subjects such as psychology, neuroscience, and computer science.


chapter |6 pages


ByMark Sprevak, Matteo Colombo

part I|2 pages

History and future directions

chapter 1|14 pages

Computational thought from Descartes to Lovelace

ByAlistair M. C. Isaac

chapter 2|15 pages

Turing and the first electronic brains

What the papers said
ByDiane Proudfoot, Jack Copeland

chapter 3|14 pages

British cybernetics

ByJoe Dewhurst

chapter 4|13 pages


ByTara H. Abraham

chapter 6|15 pages

Connectionism and post-connectionist models

ByCameron Buckner, James Garson

chapter 7|10 pages

Artificial intelligence

ByMurray Shanahan

part II|2 pages

Types of computing

chapter 8|17 pages

Classical computational models

ByRichard Samuels

chapter 9|14 pages

Explanation and connectionist models

ByCatherine Stinson

chapter 10|15 pages

Dynamic information processing

ByFrank Faries, Anthony Chemero

chapter 11|10 pages

Probabilistic models

ByDavid Danks

chapter 12|14 pages

Prediction error minimization in the brain

ByJakob Hohwy

part III|2 pages

Foundations and challenges

chapter 13|17 pages

Triviality arguments about computational implementation

ByMark Sprevak

chapter 14|13 pages

Computational implementation

ByJ. Brendan Ritchie, Gualtiero Piccinini

chapter 15|18 pages

Computation and levels in the cognitive and neural sciences

ByLotem Elber-Dorozko, Oron Shagrir

chapter 16|14 pages

Reductive explanation between psychology and neuroscience

ByDaniel A. Weiskopf

chapter 17|10 pages

Helmholtz’s vision

Underdetermination, behavior and the brain
ByClark Glymour, Ruben Sanchez-Romero

chapter 18|12 pages

The nature and function of content in computational models

ByFrances Egan

chapter 19|13 pages

Maps, models and computational simulations in the mind

ByWilliam Ramsey

chapter 20|11 pages

The cognitive basis of computation

Putting computation in its place
ByDaniel D. Hutto, Erik Myin, Anco Peeters, Farid Zahnoun

chapter 21|14 pages

Computational explanations and neural coding

ByRosa Cao

chapter 23|13 pages

Concepts, symbols, and computation

An integrative approach
ByJenelle Salisbury, Susan Schneider

chapter 24|16 pages

Embodied cognition

ByMarcin Miłkowski

chapter 25|16 pages

Tractability and the computational mind

ByJakub Szymanik, Rineke Verbrugge

part IV|2 pages


chapter 26|13 pages

Computational cognitive neuroscience

ByCarlos Zednik

chapter 27|11 pages

Simulation in computational neuroscience

ByLiz Irvine

chapter 28|16 pages

Learning and reasoning

ByMatteo Colombo

chapter 29|13 pages


ByMazviita Chirimuuta

chapter 30|14 pages

Perception without computation?

ByNico Orlandi

chapter 31|12 pages

Motor computation

ByMichael Rescorla

chapter 32|16 pages

Computational models of emotion

ByXiaosi Gu

chapter 33|17 pages

Computational psychiatry

ByStefan Brugger, Matthew Broome

chapter 34|14 pages

Computational approaches to social cognition

ByJohn Michael, Miles MacLeod

chapter 35|14 pages

Computational theories of group behavior

ByBryce Huebner, Joseph Jebari