"The innovative application of semantically- and ontologically-based methods to data mining and knowledge exploration in complex scientific domains requires a thorough understanding of formal logic and semantics, philosophy of language, and cognitive philosophy (including metaphysics, epistemology, and philosophy of science) – fields that are a core part of good philosophy programs at both the undergraduate and graduate levels."
— Dr. Gary H. Merrill, Director, Semantic Technologies Group, GlaxoSmithKline, 2003-2010
LACSI was established by the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies in Fall 2004 to foster growth and development in the following fields at NC State:
Although these fields are very abstract in themselves, they deal with ideas, structures, and methods of reasoning that have significant practical applications. A wide range of students, including many students majoring in STEM disciplines and students who are likely to pursue industry careers in R & D, can expand their horizons and enhance their arsenal of conceptual resources by including a LACSI program or a sequence of LACSI courses in their degrees.
The following programs fall under LACSI:
The courses offered by the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies that fall under LACSI are:
The Logic and Cognitive Science Initiative Award was introduced in 2008/9. This prize, which includes a cash award, is presented in the spring to the outstanding senior in the BS in Philosophy with a Concentration in Logic, Representation and Reasoning. The award is not made in years in which there is no senior in the program with an appropriately distinguished record. The winners so far have been as follows:
Every two years, LACSI organizes and hosts a conference on a topic within its fields of interest. The topic of the next LACSI conference, scheduled for September 25-26, 2015, is Perception. The program is still under construction, but the speakers will be: Berit Brogaard (University of Miami), Alex Byrne (MIT), Jonathan Cohen (University of California, San Diego), Harold L. Langsam (University of Virginia), Mohan Matthen (University of Toronto), and Susanna Siegal (Harvard).
Previous LACSI Conferences:
The Logic and Cognitive Science Lecture Series was introduced in Fall 2005, superceding the Cognitive Science Lecture Series, which hosted public lectures by a number of distinguished experts, including Daniel Dennett (Tufts), Fred Dretske (Duke), Jerry Fodor (Rutgers), and George Lakoff (Berkeley) between 2002 and 2005. Speakers in the new series have included Ned Block (NYU), John Doris (Washington St. Louis), Gerd Gigerenzer (Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin), Jaegwon Kim (Brown), Joseph Levine (Massachusetts), William Lycan (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill), Daniel Povanelli (Louisiana), Teddy Seidenfeld (Carnegie Mellon University), Elizabeth Spelke (Harvard), Stephen Stich (Rutgers), and Stephen Yablo (MIT).
In 2006-2008, LACSI hosted GlaxoSmithKline Lectures on Semantics and Ontology by Cliff Joslyn (Los Alamos National Laboratory) and J. Michael Dunn (Indiana University).
For further information about recent and forthcoming lectures, see Activities and Events in Philosophy.
Between 2004 and 2010, GlaxoSmithKline's Semantic Technologies Group supported LACSI with grants to the value of $157,000. Among other things, these funds supported Undergraduate Internships in Knowledge Exploration with the GSK Semantic Technologies Group, public lectures, LACSI's September 2009 Ontology Conference, publicity, and a student award. GSK closed the Semantic Technologies Group in February 2010, when Dr. Gary H. Merrill, the Group's Director, retired.
LACSI is administered by the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies under the guidance of the Logic and Cognitive Science Initiative Steering Committee, which is composed as follows:
David D. Auerbach, PhD (MIT), Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Chair of the Philosophy Curriculum Committee, and Senior Adviser in Philosophy.
John W. Carroll, PhD (Arizona), Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Philosophy Honors Program.
Catherine M. Driscoll, PhD (Rutgers), Associate Professor of Philosophy, Department Director of Undergraduate Advising, and Adviser in the Undergraduate Minor in Cognitive Science.
Ronald P. Endicott, PhD (Michigan), Associate Professor of Philosophy, Director of the Cognitive Science Program, Adviser in the Graduate Minor in Cognitive Science, and Coordinator of the Logic and Cognitive Science Lecture Series.
Johannes Hafner, PhD (Berkeley), Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Adviser in the Undergraduate Minor in Logic and Methodology.
Michael Pendlebury, PhD (Indiana), Professor of Philosophy and Head of the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies, Committee Chair.
The Steering Committee is advised by an Honorary Consultant:
BS in Philosophy with a Concentration in Logic, Representation and Reasoning; General Curriculum Matters: David Auerbach
Cognitive Science Program; Graduate Minor in Cognitive Science; Logic and Cognitive Science Lecture Series: Ron Endicott
Undergraduate Minor in Cognitive Science: Catherine Driscoll
Undergraduate Minor in Logic and Methodology: Johannes Hafner
All Other Matters (including conferences, public relations, and development): Michael Pendlebury