Cognitive Science Models: An Aristotelian–Thomistic Appraisal

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2 Scopus citations


Cognitive science models emerged in the 1950s with the advent of computers and today have three versions: classical, connectionist, and embodiment (see Dawson, 2013 for an extensive review). Classical and connectionist models focus on the brain as explanatory of all cognitive phenomena but go further to claim that these cognitive phenomena can be replicated by computers, a field now labeled Artificial Intelligence. This essay will explore the claims of the classical and connectionist models and their strengths and weaknesses. I introduce the classical realism of Aristotle and Aquinas (the A–T model) and argue that the A–T model can incorporate classical and connectionist theory and findings, solve most of the weaknesses of both models, and add better causative explanations of higher cognitive phenomena, such as concept formation and thought. The presentation ends with a brief discussion of implications for cognitive psychology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)33-52
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Mind and Behavior
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2021


  • Aristotle
  • Cognitive psychology
  • Cognitive science

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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