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Philosophy of Mind

(483 words)

Author(s): Stephan, Achim
[German Version] In the past five decades, the philosophy of mind has developed into an extremely active philosophical discipline. With philosophical psychology, it addresses the fundamental questions generated by the enormous progress made by neuroscience and cognitive science regarding our self-conception. The philosophy of mind also has ties to many other philosophical disciplines. At the center of the philosophy of mind is the ontological question of the nature of mentality, discussed since antiquity as the question of the relationship between…


(834 words)

Author(s): Stephan, Achim | Leiner, Martin
[German Version] I. Philosophy – II. Ethics I. Philosophy In colloquial usage, the term “information” is often employed in the sense of “disclosure” or “message.” Various media can convey the same information: A x-ray conveys information to a physician that his or her patient is suffering from lung cancer and then the physician can inform the patient in a conversation. Furthermore, the same message can hold different information for different recipients (the patient or the insurance company). In contra…


(501 words)

Author(s): Stephan, Achim
[German Version] Generally speaking, the term constructivism denotes positions that focus on the concept of construction as a constitutive aspect of their theory of human (cultural) products, whether these be artworks, scientific or philosophical theories, or mental states and processes such as emotions and perceptions. In German Idealism, the concept of construction refers primarily to the building of a “system” of philosophy in accordance with the principles of…

Cognitive Science

(372 words)

Author(s): Stephan, Achim
[German Version] is still a young discipline. It originated in the 1970s as an integrative research initiative combining the scholarly approaches from a wide vari¶ ety of fields such as psychology (esp. developmental and cognitive psychology), linguistics, computer science (esp. Artificial intelligence, neuroinformatics, and robotics), neuroscience, and philosophy (esp. the Philosophy of mind and philosophical psychology). Its research efforts are primarily focused on the (cognitive) …


(1,146 words)

Author(s): Jödicke, Ansgar | Stephan, Achim | Loder, James E.
[German Version] I. Science of Religion – II. Philosophy – III. Practical Theology I. Science of Religion A functional analysis describes the parts of a system on the basis of their function for the whole. Pioneered by É. Durkheim, functionalism was developed in Anglo-Saxon cultural anthropology by B. Malinowski and Alfred R. Radcliffe-Brown, primarily as a heuristic framework for ethnographic observation, to be distinguished from theory-driven evolutionism. In sociology, by contrast, it produced functionalis…

Artificial Intelligence

(2,279 words)

Author(s): Foerst, Anne | Stephan, Achim
[German Version] I. Science – II. Philosophy – III. Ethics I. Science Artificial intelligence is a field of study within engineering, esp. information technology. Researchers in this field are attempting to develop machines capable of performing tasks that require intelligence. At present, the Turing test, named after Alan Turing, is the recognized intelligence test for computers: if a human being…


(263 words)

Author(s): Stephan, Achim
[German Version] is a relatively new paradigm of cognitive science. Instead of reducing mental processes to sequential algorithmic symbol processing, as postulated by the traditional computer model of the mind, it attempts to simulate intelligent behavior with the help of artificial neural networks (so-called “connectionist architectures”). Such networks exhibit a highly parallel mode of operation, and are error-tolerant as well as adaptive. Neural networks consi…