We believe that a number of central philosophical debates involve phenomena that are best investigated as mind-centered aspects of cognitive agents. And so, philosophical fields such as, for example, epistemology, philosophy of mind, and philosophy of science need to address the concepts and phenomena they study with models of how the mind actually works that are available from cognitive sciences. This said, we consider it plausible that all philosophical work would benefit from knowing how the mind perceives and constructs phenomena, before detailing the phenomena themselves. So, we want to highlight that any investigation into reality is affected by the cognitive agent taking on the inquiry, since any cognitive agent’s limits and affordances will affect how such investigations are carried out and what stimuli it is possible for them to take into account.



Knowledge and reflection are defining human abilities. By adopting a naturalistic stance, we aim to investigate how they are connected to different psychological and neuroscientific models, on different levels of analysis, and how they map to each other. A number of essential cognitive functions are relevant and can provide elucidating input both for traditional philosophical problems and paradoxes, as well as for artificial intelligence research.


The project will attempt to elucidate how natural phenomena (i.e., the world, human nervous systems) need to be viewed as dynamical systems rather than statical systems. These phenomena should accordingly primarily be modeled with differential equations, rather than with discrete logical and language-based models. We will further inquire how analytical aspects of human System 2 processing (WM) biases philosophical thinking towards statical models, to the detriment of observational-based dynamical models. Though analytical aspects of working memory might still be used for philosophical thinking, investigators need to acquire intuitions (understood as mental models induced from observations) that account for dynamical features, not solely rule-based features. This project will thus initiate a challenge to the status of traditional Boolean logic as a sufficient tool for doing philosophy and proposes models using coupled differential equations as an improvement.



The project will investigate how intelligence, and general intelligence, should be understood from a naturalistic perspective. By looking at the complex biological phenomena in organisms ranging from moulds, plants, animals, humans, to swarms, intelligence can be seen as consisting of adaptations that enable prediction of gradient fields by means of reflexive information processing, allowing negotiation of obstacles in approach to an attractor or in avoidance of a repeller. General intelligence can then be seen to consist of reflective networks that can inhibit and excite reflexive networks, allowing behaviour to be dialogues across contexts and environmental niches. Such an account might offer artificial intelligence research biologically plausible insights and concrete building blocks regarding general intelligence.


Learning, reasoning & rationality


The project aims to investigate questions such as: What does it require to learn concepts from perception and reason rationally with them? How can one explain this with Bayesian models of cognition, and how good are such explanations? Can and should we capture all aspects of intelligence in terms of the ability to make successful predictions about the world?


Numerous species use different forms of communication in order to successfully interact in their respective environment. This project investigates communication as a biological natural phenomenon, found to be fruitfully grounded in an organism’s embodied structures and memory system, where specific abilities are tied to procedural, semantic, and episodic long-term memory as well as to working memory. This approach enables new perspectives of communication to emerge regarding both sender and receiver. It is further investigated how communication feature gradient properties that are plausibly divided into a reflexive and a reflective form, parallel to knowledge and reflection. This approach also offers artificial intelligence research new biologically plausible insight into both non-verbal and verbal communication.

Conspiracy theories


The project will study beliefs within the predictive processing and the embodied cognition frameworks. It will also address how empirical research is currently conducted surrounding conspiracy theories; and the explication of the term. Although the simplest definition of the term ‘conspiracy theory’ might lead us to the conclusion that we are all conspiracy theorists, most of us would not self-identify as such. The project will analyse solutions for the problem of self-identification and whether a theoretical fruitful definition is possible.