MIT BCS Philosophy Circle

The MIT BCS Philosophy Circle is a discussion group coordinated by students in MIT's Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences and Department of Philosophy. Through readings and conversations, we aim to address central open philosophical questions linking our two fields, such as:

  • Research in our department proceeds at many different levels of analysis. What is our long-term plan to link the work of biologists, neuroscientists, and cognitive scientists in our building? What should reductive science in BCS look like, and when will it come?
  • Does the brain compute? Is the brain at least like a computer? What would be the alternative?
  • Why do physical events such as neuronal spikes deserve to be called signals? What are they signaling, anyway? How are they different from other physical events such as bouncing balls and striking lightning?


We welcome any students with at least a basic training in philosophy and an understanding of some area of mind/brain sciences. (If you're not sure, ask!)

Interested in attending and contributing? Check out our per-semester meeting schedule and join our mailing list to receive regular updates. If you're an MIT BCS graduate student, you can also join our #philosophy Slack channel.