Here at CogZest we aim to understand and celebrate great minds, while trying to help people improve themselves with knowledge and technology. We take an integrative design-oriented approach to researching mind. It aims to develop an integrative understanding of humans as autonomous information-processing agents. So rather than focusing uniquely on “dry” cognition, we consider the entire agent (including motivation, emotion, executive functions, ancillary functions, values, meaning, etc.).
The Great Contemporaries project seeks to understand
- the cognitive productivity of people who have contributed to an integrative understanding of the human mind, and
- their integrative understanding of mind.
This project will lead to a book, Great Contemporaries in Integrative Cognitive Science and Related Endeavours, edited by Luc P. Beaudoin. So, whereas he will personally know (or have known) most of the subjects, many of the chapters (essays) will be written by others.
The book will include essays by experts in “cognitive science” (very broadly construed) who are or were contemporaries of ours. In particular, we are planning chapters on
- Claude Lamontagne of the University of Ottawa
- Aaron Sloman of the University of Birmingham
- Margaret A. Boden,
- Merlin Donald, focusing on his theory of consciousness.
We have several other great scientific minds in mind for this book (such as Ron Burnett, Nico Frijda, and Albert Bandura) — if we can get experts who knew them personally to write about them. Please get in touch with us if you are an interested expert on them or who would like to contribute to this project.
The book will also contain:
- a few chapters about artists (in a general sense of the term) who articulated a deep, extensive understanding of mind (explicitly and implicitly).
- a chapter about a few promising young integrators, and
- an essay about what it seems to take to be an integrative thinker (with a proposal about ‘how to become an integrative thinker’),
Some of the content for this project will be derivatives of blog posts tagged with featured-minds. In particular, in June 2020, Beaudoin wrote an Homage to Aaron Sloman, Winner of the 2020 APA K. Jon Barwise Prize.
This project is inspired by Winston S. Churchill’s book Great Contemporaries. Churchill’s own cognitive productivity seems to be unparalleled in the history of politics. The first Cognitive Productivity is dedicated to his memory (and that of Pierre Trudeau and Jacques Brel). Most of the people Churchill wrote about had already passed away (made it easier for him, as you can imagine).
There’s no specific ETA for this project, though we are aiming for before 2029. (We have at least two more books and some new software projects to complete before this book is published. But this project has begun!)
The project is still at an early stage. The title and specifics may change.