Skip to content Skip to navigation
Resources and Information on COVID-19 Ask a Question

Cognitive Science and Philosophy

Cognitive Science

Cognitive Science is the interdisciplinary study of human thought and behavior. It combines methods, theories and applications from many disciplines, including philosophy, psychology, linguistics, computer science, neuroscience, and biology. The Cognitive Science majors, B.A. and B.S., provide a broad knowledge of Cognitive Science, including language and communication, reasoning, memory, categorization, cognitive modeling, perception and action, philosophical foundations, artificial intelligence, cognitive engineering, and Cognitive Science applications for the business setting.

A degree in Cognitive Science provides in-depth training in research methods, data analysis, modeling, and lab-based research. It also prepares students for jobs in high-tech companies. It is ideal for students who want to pursue graduate work in Cognitive Science, business, communications, computer science and engineering, education, information sciences and information management, law, linguistics, management, medicine, neuroscience, and psychology. Students can work with Cognitive Science faculty to tailor their own program of study to emphasize one or two specific areas within Cognitive Science. Example specializations include behavioral experimentation, cognitive neuroscience, computational modeling, decision sciences, linguistics, and philosophy of Cognitive Science.

For additional information on the Cognitive Science major at UC Merced, please visit the Cognitive Science website.

For Cognitive Science major requirements, please consult your catalog.



Philosophy studies issues of basic human importance, such as: what sorts of things exist in the universe, the nature of the mind and thinking, what we can know, what is valuable, how we should treat others, what constitutes the best form of government, and what makes for a good and flourishing life. Philosophers consider theoretical, conceptual, and foundational questions of this sort both on their own and in relation to other disciplinary areas. They study, for instance, mind and consciousness, moral conduct and agency, the organization of social structures, decision making, ethical questions concerning the environment, biotechnology, and questions in the foundations of mathematics and the physical, biological, social and computational sciences.

Philosophy at UC Merced combines interdisciplinary and traditional approaches. The philosophy program is a part of Cognitive and Information Sciences, and three members of the faculty are members of UC Merced's world-class graduate program in cognitive science. Undergraduate or graduate students working with our philosophy faculty have the flexibility to study a wide variety of interdisciplinary topics, either as part of our regular course offerings or as part of independent undergraduate or graduate studies. In addition to this emphasis on interdisciplinary and applied philosophy, traditional approaches to philosophy are also covered. Core areas of contemporary philosophy—including ethics, metaphysics, epistemology, philosophy of mind, philosophy of language, and philosophy of religion—are offered on a regular basis, as are historical courses in ancient and modern philosophy.

For additional information on the Philosophy major at UC Merced, please visit the Philosophy website.

For Philosophy major requirements, please consult your catalog.