The project “Rethinking Mind and Meaning” is a co-disciplinary collaboration between the Schools of Psychology and Neuroscience and the Department of Philosophy at the University of St Andrews funded by the AHRC “Science in Culture” initiative.
We want to address the issue of to what extent animals and young infants can reason about things that they can not directly observe from a co-disciplinary perspective. Can they understand complex notions such as knowledge, causes and intentions? If they can, what makes adult human thought unique?
This project brings together researchers from the humanities (e.g., linguistics and philosophy) and the sciences (e.g., psychology and biology) to make progress on fundamental questions such as what is thought, what distinguishes the human and the animal minds, or what is communication.
A distinctive feature of this project is that it aims to engage in interdisciplinary discussions and to generate innovative empirical research with children and nonhuman primates following a “co-disciplinary” approach, i.e., discussing and understanding together existing ideas and views, how similar or different they are, how well they account for the existing evidence, merging different lines of expertise. A key aim is to explore new notions capable of better explaining some of the paradoxical results produced by recent scientific findings about infant and animal cognition.