Richard Menary

Professor Richard Menary

  • Post-Nominals: FAHA
  • Fellow Type: Fellow
  • Elected to the Academy: 2022
  • Section: Philosophy and History of Ideas

Biography

I am Professor and Head of the Department of Philosophy at Macquarie University. Between 2014 and 2018 I was an ARC Future Fellow, before that I was a Senior Research Fellow in the ARC Centre for Cognition and its Disorders. I read for a BA in philosophy at the University of Ulster, an MSc in Cognitive Science at the University of Birmingham and then a PhD in philosophy at King’s College London.

My future fellowship (2014 – 2018) brought together recent work on neural redeployment and neuronal recycling with recent research on cultural evolution, niche construction and social learning. The outcome is an explanation of how culture influences the development of cognitive functions – such as reading, writing and symbolic mathematics. I am currently completing a new book on the enculturated mind. I have published widely on extended, embodied and distributed cognition, neural plasticity, symbolic cognition – particularly reading and mathematical cognition, the cultural evolution of social cognition, pragmatism and cognitive science and embodied narratives and the self. I edited the definitive collection of articles on the Extended Mind and staked out a distinctive approach to embodied and extended cognition in my monograph, “Cognitive Integration”. Both of these books are central reference points in the literature and have combined citations of 1656. My current research focusses on the enculturation of mind, with special focus on social cognition, the origin of art. I have also written on the influence of classical pragmatism on cognitive science and given a deflationist account of narrative and the self. Currently I am working on a project with developmental and educational psychologists on developing intellectual humility in school aged children and a project on the outsourcing of cognitive tasks to AI and the risk of de-skilling.

 

Acknowledgement of Country

The Australian Academy of the Humanities recognises Australia’s First Nations Peoples as the traditional owners and custodians of this land, and their continuous connection to country, community and culture.