Keith Stenning

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Keith Stenning is a cognitive scientist and Honorary Professor at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, UK. He attended High Wycombe Royal Grammar School (U.K.) from 1959 to 1965,[1] where he won an Open Scholarship in Natural Sciences at Trinity College, Oxford.


Stenning received a bachelor's degree in philosophy and psychology at the University of Oxford[2] in 1969, and a PhD in discourse semantics as a basis for a theory of memory[3] in New York, 1975, supervised by George Armitage Miller.

Between 1975 and 1983 he taught at Liverpool University before moving to Edinburgh to the Centre for Cognitive Science in 1983. Between 1989 and 1999 he was the director of the Human Communication Research Centre.[4][5]

He is a Distinguished Fellow of the Cognitive Science Society[6] and a Foreign Fellow of the Royal Netherlands National Academy. He was chairman of an Expert Group gathered by the European Commission Directorate-General for Research which proposed some lines of evolutionary cognitive research under the title "What it Means to be Human".[7]

His main research interest is integrating logical and psychological accounts of reasoning. Recent work includes investigations of interpretative processes in reasoning and, with Michiel van Lambalgen at the Institute for Logic, Language and Computation in Amsterdam, the use of non-monotonic logic and neural network implementations to model reasoning.

His most recent books have dealt with how the mind responds to different representations of the same information[8] and his 2008 book with Michiel van Lambalgen[9] discusses the relevance of modern mathematical logic to the study of human reasoning.

He became a foreign member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2005.[10]


  1. ^ Royal Grammar School, High Wycombe - School List for 1965
  2. ^ Brendan McGonigle was once one of his tutors.
  3. ^ Stenning, Keith (1975). Understanding English Articles and Quantifiers. PhD thesis, The Rockefeller University, New York.
  4. ^ Pearce Wright (27 November 1992). "But who will write tie plaintive headlines?". Feature Articles (aka Opinion). The Times. No. 64501. London. p. 34. Retrieved 28 August 2018.
  5. ^ "The University of Edinburgh". Display Advertising. The Times. No. 65909. London. 6 June 1997. p. 42. Retrieved 28 August 2018.
  6. ^ See the Cognitive Science Society website Archived 2015-07-16 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ See the report, What it Means to be Human.
  8. ^ Stenning, Keith (2002). Seeing Reason. Oxford University Press.
  9. ^ Stenning, Keith; van Lambalgen, Michiel (2008). Human reasoning and cognitive science. MIT Press.
  10. ^ "K. Stenning". Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. Archived from the original on 14 February 2016. Retrieved 14 February 2016.

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