Stevan Harnad

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Stevan Harnad
Stevan Harnad
Born (1945-06-02) June 2, 1945 (age 69)
Budapest, Hungary
Residence Montréal, Canada
Nationality Hungarian
Fields Cognitive science
Institutions Université du Québec à Montréal, University of Southampton
Alma mater McGill University, Princeton University
Thesis Grounding Symbolic Representation in Categorical Perception (1992)
Influences Donald O. Hebb, Julian Jaynes, Noam Chomsky, Alan Turing, Charles Darwin[citation needed]

Stevan Robert Harnad (Hernád István Róbert, Hesslein István, born June 2, 1945, Budapest) is a cognitive scientist.


Harnad was born in Budapest, Hungary. He did his undergraduate work at McGill University and his graduate work at Princeton University's Department of Psychology. Harnad completed his Master of Arts degree in Psychology from McGill University in 1969,[1] his Doctor of Philosophy degree from Princeton University in 1992.[2] He was awarded an honorary doctorate by University of Liège in 2013.[3]


Harnad's research interests are in cognitive science and open access.[4][5] He is currently Canada Research Chair in cognitive science at Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) and professor of cognitive science at the University of Southampton. He was elected external member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in 2001. His research is on categorization,[6] communication,[7] cognition,[8] and consciousness[9] and he has written extensively on categorical perception, symbol grounding, origin of language, lateralization, the Turing test, distributed cognition, scientometrics, and consciousness. Harnad is a former student of Donald O. Hebb[10] and Julian Jaynes.[11]

Research publishing and open access[edit]

In 1978, Harnad was the founder[12] of Behavioral and Brain Sciences, of which he remained editor-in-chief until 2002.[13] In addition, he founded Psycoloquy (an early electronic journal sponsored by the American Psychological Association), CogPrints (an electronic eprint archive in the cognitive sciences hosted by the University of Southampton), and the American Scientist Open Access Forum[14] (since 1998; now the Global Open Access List, GOAL[15]). Harnad is an active promoter of open access, EPrints,[16] Enabling Open Scholarship (EOS),[17] Open Access Scholarly Information Sourcebook (OASIS),[18] Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) and its Campus Open Access Policies.[19]

Democracy in Hungary[edit]

Harnad is the author of a 2011 open letter[20][21] signed by over 60 external members of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences addressed to the Academy's President, József Pálinkás, concerning the press and police harassment campaign against Hungarian philosophers who were critics of the current Hungarian ruling party, Fidesz, and its prime minister, Viktor Orbán.

Harnad is also on the Board of Directors[22] of the Canadian-Hungarian Democratic Charter,[23][24][25][26][27][28][29][30] an organization launched in 2011 on the 55th anniversary of the Hungarian Revolution of 1956 against Russian domination. According to its definition, the charter's goal is to help support democracy in Hungary against what it sees as the increasingly undemocratic developments currently taking place under Viktor Orbán and the Fidesz party.

Animal welfare[edit]

Harnad is a vegan,[31][32][33] and is increasingly active in animal welfare and animal rights.[34][35][36]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Harnad, Stevan (1969). The effects of fixation, attention, and report on the frequency and duration of visual disappearances (MA thesis). McGill University. 
  2. ^ Harnad, Stevan (1992). Grounding Symbolic Representation in Categorical Perception (PhD thesis). Princeton University. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ Stevan Harnad's publications indexed by Google Scholar, a free service provided by Google
  5. ^ Stevan Harnad's publications indexed by the DBLP Bibliography Server at the University of Trier
  6. ^ Harnad, Stevan (2005). To Cognize is to Categorize: Cognition is Categorization. in Lefebvre, C. and Cohen, H., Eds. Handbook of Categorization. Elsevier.
  7. ^ Cangelosi, Angelo and Harnad, Stevan (2001). The adaptive advantage of symbolic theft over sensorimotor toil: Grounding language in perceptual categories. Evolution of Communication 4(1) 117-142
  8. ^ Harnad, Stevan (2006). The Annotation Game: On Turing (1950) on Computing, Machinery, and Intelligence. In: Epstein, Robert & Peters, Grace (Eds.) Parsing the Turing Test: Philosophical and Methodological Issues in the Quest for the Thinking Computer. Springer
  9. ^ Harnad, Stevan & Scherzer, Peter (2008). First, Scale Up to the Robotic Turing Test, Then Worry About Feeling. Artificial Intelligence in Medicine 44(2): 83-89
  10. ^ D. O. Hebb: Father of Cognitive Psychobiology (1904-1985)
  11. ^ What It Feels Like To Hear Voices: Fond Memories of Julian Jaynes
  12. ^ BBS Inaugural Editorial
  13. ^ BBS Valedictory Editorial
  14. ^ Archive of American Scientist Open Access Forum
  15. ^
  16. ^ EPrints
  17. ^ EnablingOpenScholarship (EOS)
  18. ^ Open Access Scholarly Information Sourcebook (OASIS)
  19. ^ SPARC Campus Open Access Policies
  20. ^ John Bohannon "Hungarian Academicians Blast Government Over Inquiry Into Research Funds" ScienceInsider 4 February 2011
  21. ^
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  31. ^ Stevan Harnad (2011). "Morals, Mores and Mood: On Saying and Doing What Feels Right", Skywritings, January 2.
  32. ^ Elise Desaulniers "I Am Ashamed to Have Been a Vegetarian for 50 Years", Huffington Post, May 30, 2013.
  33. ^ Stevan Harnad (2012) "Luxe, nécessité, souffrance: pourquoi je ne suis pas carnivore" Quèbec humaniste 8(1)
  34. ^ Harnad, Stevan (2012). How/Why Explaining the Causal Role of Consciousness is Hard Turing Centenary Institute on the Evolution and Function of Consciousness"
  35. ^
  36. ^ Stevan Harnad talk at 2nd Annual Conference of SACS Students for Critical Animal Studies, McGill, University March 28-30 2014

External links[edit]