About IPMC

The Institute of Philosophy of Mind and Cognition (IPMC) was established in 2005 and approved by the Ministry of Education to establish a master’s program in 2007. It recruited five students for the master’s program in 2008. Professor Allen Houng was responsible for the planning and establishment. During this period, he received full support from former President Wu Yanhua and all the Deans.

From 2008 to 2017, the number of faculty members in IPMC increased from 3 full-time professors (Allen Houng, Wen-Fang Wang, and Thomas Benda) to 6 full-time professors (Wen-Fang Wang, Thomas Benda, Kai-Yuan Cheng, Aleksandra Mroczko-Wasowicz, Karen Yan, Ying-Tung Lin) and two part-time professors (Allen Houng, Pei-Chi Tu). By 2015, the percentage of full-time foreign professors was 33%, and the percentage of full-time female professors was 50%. IPMC was the first philosophy institute/department in Taiwan to achieve this gender ratio, and one of the few institutes/departments in the world to achieve such a ratio. 

Between 2019 and 2022, two faculty members retired and one resigned for personal reasons. In August 2021, Michael Stuart joined IPMC. In February 2022, Alexandre Erler, Chris McCarroll, Jonathon Hricko, Justin Hewitson, Li-Hung Chang, and Angel Ho joined. Currently, the percentage of full-time foreign professors is 50%, and full-time female professors are 30%.

Between 2008 to 2021, our enrollment quota increased from five to seven, and 40 students have graduated from IPMC. There are 14 students who have gone abroad for further graduate studies in the US, Canada, Germany, Amsterdam, and the UK; and 12 out of 14 of those students (86%) received some form of financial support from those programs. Many of our students have presented their papers at international conferences and have received travel grants from the Ministry of Science and Technology in Taiwan.

Research Mission Statement

The IPMC is dedicated to studying cognition, whether in humans, other animals, or computers. Studying cognition requires different disciplinary perspectives, so researchers at the IPMC draw on philosophy, neuroscience, psychology, neurolinguistics, and cognitive science. The main focus of the IPMC was traditionally consciousness and the philosophy of cognitive science, but has since branched out to include research foci on neuroscience, clinical medicine, imagination, memory, neuroethics, religion, and AI. All these topics revolve around core philosophical problems about the nature of mind and cognition, including what cognition is, how we can know about it, what affects it, its social and biological bases, and the ethics of classifying and altering minds. The mission of the IPMC is more than merely addressing traditional philosophical questions, but doing so in a way that contributes to tackling significant social, scientific, political and ethical issues by bridging academia, science and society. For more, see the individual faculty research profiles on the “Faculty” page.

Teaching Mission Statement

We offer courses for undergraduates at NYCU, to complement their learning in other programs. We also offer an interdisciplinary undergraduate program called the Philosophy, Intelligence, Brain and Mind program (PIBM). The mandate of the PIBM program is to cultivate students’ abilities to integrate the humanities with biomedical information communication technology. The unique feature of PIBM lies in teaching cutting-edge empirical philosophy of science research methods, such as experimental philosophy, cognitive ethnography, text mining, network analysis, and the interdisciplinary toolbox method. In the PIBM program, students learn how to combine the philosophy of mind and cognition, ethics and values, and empirical scientific research tools to develop their careers in science.

The IPMC also offers a dedicated masters program to students who want to specialize in topics related to cognition. We offer two tracks for our masters students, which are differentiated by their methods. The first track employs the methods commonly associated with analytic philosophy, including but not limited to conceptual analysis, reflective equilibrium, and analysis of empirical scientific results. We call this the “analytic track.” The second track adopts the methods of empirical science, including those of sociology, psychology, education, and cognitive (neuro)science. We call this the “empirical” track. Despite these labels, we encourage students to become familiar with each set of methods. For more, see our “Courses List” page.