Sunday, October 30, 2016

A Sunday (school) reading list

Well, it's Sunday, and for the 2607th time I did not go to church... But I do feel like I should do something church-ish. So here's my attempt at a list. Of other foundational texts.

Everybody's making lists about what to read (see what my wife recommends in fiction:, so consider this my contribution. A Sunday list for cognitive science.

Cognitive scientists without whose work I could not/would not want to do my own job.

Noam Chomsky. Pick up anything. Read it. Then read some more. You'll see…Whether you agree or disagree, you cannot help but be moved by the force of argumentation and relevance of the ideas.

Susan Carey. The Origin of Concepts is a masterpiece ( And Susan's earlier book, Conceptual Change in Childhood (, is the book that got me excited to take very seriously developmental psychology, as an entirely non-developmental person.

Randy Gallistel. The Organization of Learning – wow! ( And his recent co-authored book, Memory and the Computational Brain - wow and ouch! (

Liz Spelke. Initial knowledge: six suggestions ( is another one of the pieces about one must just say: damn that's good.

Lila Gleitman. Pick any of Lila's papers. (e.g.,%20Gleitman,%20Gleitman%20-%201983%20-%20What%20some%20concepts%20might%20not%20be.pdf) Not only are they interesting, important, and elegantly structured, they reflect her sense of humor, grace, and intuition of how the whole thing works! Five stars all around.

I will have the good taste from not listing papers/books one should avoid at all costs. Maybe another Sunday ... 

1 comment:

William Matchin said...

For something a little tongue-in-cheek, I enjoy Fodor occasionally, including "why the brain?", in the London Review of Books.