Two important new cognitive science resources have just been launched: Online Papers on Consciousness is a huge database of full-text papers and articles on consciousness and the philosophy of mind, and MindPapers is a much larger index that contains entries for both open and closed access work.
The impressive project has been a joint venture between two tech-savvy philosophers: David Bourget, who is both a computer scientist and a philosopher of mind, and David Chalmers, who has been a beacon of philosophy information on the net for many years, alongside his notable achievements in consciousness studies.
The site also uses an interesting mechanism to classify papers:
…entries are categorized along two dimensions. First, all newly harvested entries are evaluated for their relevance to MindPapers. Second, those entries which have a sufficiently high likelihood of being relevant are assigned categories from the directory. Both of these steps make use of a specially developed Bayesian categorization program. In a nutshell, this program assigns probabilities to entry-category pairs based on heuristics and statistics drawn from training sets. The training set for the first categorization step was derived from the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy… The training set for the second categorization stage is MindPapers itself.
It’s a lovely computational approach to making sense of huge amounts of work in this area. Perhaps this is the birth of a new field – computational philosophy?
Either way, both sites are going to be hugely valuable resources for philosophy and cognitive science alike.