Cognitio 2011 – Nonhuman Minds: Animal, Artificial or Other Minds

Montreal, Canada

July 3th, 4th & 5th 2011.

Deadline for submission: Sunday, February 20th

Cognitio is a young researcher’s conference now held every two years at the Université du Québec à Montréal, under the auspices of its Cognitive Science Institute.

This year, Cognitio will be held from June 3rd to June 5th, just prior to the joint meeting of the Society for Philosophy and Psychology (SPP) and the European Society for Philosophy and Psychology (ESPP).

Over the past several years, Cognitio has been a colloquium where many facets of the human mind were explored. We looked at the relationship between mind and its material substrate (2004), at human decision making (2005), at situated minds (2006), at social cognition (2007) and at the evolution of minds and cultures (2009).

The time has come to turn our attention to “nonhuman minds”: to reflect on other minds, on minds that could have been and on minds that could be. Do our primate cousins have minds? And what about other animals? Does it make sense to think of “robot minds” and “artificial minds” in general?

Cognitio 2011 invites graduate students and young researchers in cognitive science, anthropology, biology, psychology, computer science, philosophy, or any discipline concerned with cognition outside of the human realm to present their work at the conference.

Suggested topics include:

  • What are the actual cognitive properties of primates and other animals?
  • What of the mind of Aplysia californica? Does it have mind? And what of C. elegans?
  • What evolutionary principle governs the evolution of minds? And how is it relevant to understanding cognitive change across species?
  • What is the relation between the evolution of the mind and the evolution of the brain?
  • What is the relation between the evolution of the mind and the evolution of the body?
  • Does the advent of silicon chips, or someday perhaps quantum computing, foreshadows a new discontinuity in the evolution of minds?
  • Are there universal properties of minds?
  • Are there minimal conditions for possessing a mind?
  • Can we compare minds? How does a toddler’s mind and a chimp one compare with a grown up’s?
  • Does having a mind require rationality?
  • Can an organism have a mind without being part of a community?
  • Is a mind possible without language? How is its thinking done?
  • Is a disembodied mind possible? What are its peculiarities?

Submission of proposals for the conference is done through the EasyChair system (see We are only asking for 600 words abstracts. EasyChair will allow you to upload a PDF paper if you want to, but only your abstract will be evaluated.

Deadline for submission is Sunday, February 20th

Keynote speakers:

*  Don Ross – Department of Philosophy, University of Alabama at Birmingham; Faculty of Commerce, University of Cape Town,

*  Luc-Alain Giraldeau, Department of Biological Science, UQAM,