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


part I|2 pages

History and future directions

part II|2 pages

Types of computing

part III|2 pages

Foundations and challenges

chapter 17|10 pages

Helmholtz’s vision

Underdetermination, behavior and the brain

chapter 20|11 pages

The cognitive basis of computation

Putting computation in its place

chapter 23|13 pages

Concepts, symbols, and computation

An integrative approach

chapter 24|16 pages

Embodied cognition

part IV|2 pages


chapter 28|16 pages

Learning and reasoning

chapter 29|13 pages


chapter 30|14 pages

Perception without computation?

chapter 31|12 pages

Motor computation

chapter 32|16 pages

Computational models of emotion

chapter 33|17 pages

Computational psychiatry