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Logic and Cognitive Science Initiative (LACSI)

Expand your horizons by considering one of our course sequences, events or other programs.

LACSI Overview

Established in 2004 with generous support from GlaxoSmithKline’s Semantic Technologies Group, the Logic and Cognitive Science Initiative (LACSI) aims to foster the following fields at NC State:

  • Formal Logic.
  • Cognitive science, an important new field that investigates the nature and evolution of mind, cognition and knowledge acquisition through interdisciplinary studies in psychology, neuroscience, linguistics, computer science and philosophy.
  • Fields of cognitive philosophy that are closely related to logic and cognitive science, including philosophy of logic, philosophy of science, philosophy of language, philosophy of psychology, metaphysics and epistemology.

Although abstract in themselves, these fields deal with ideas, structures and methods of reasoning that have significant practical applications.

A wide range of learners, including students majoring in STEM disciplines and students who are likely to pursue industry careers in research and development, can expand their horizons and enhance their conceptual resources by including a LACSI program or a course sequence in their degrees.

LACSI Courses in Logic and Philosophy

  • LOG 201: Logic
  • LOG 305: Symbolic Logic
  • LOG 430/530: Varieties of Logic
  • LOG 435/535: Advanced Logic & Metamathematics
  • PHI 210: Representation, Reason & Reality
  • PHI 330: Metaphysics
  • PHI 331: Philosophy of Language
  • PHI 332: Philosophy of Psychology
  • PHI 333: Knowledge and Skepticism
  • PHI 340: Philosophy of Science
  • PHI 347: Neuroscience and Philosophy
  • PHI 425/525: Introduction to Cognitive Science
  • PHI 440/540: The Scientific Method
  • PHI 447/547: Philosophy, Evolution & Human Nature

Student Award

The Logic and Cognitive Science Initiative Award was introduced in 2009. This award, which includes a cash prize, is presented in the spring to the outstanding senior in the B.S. in philosophy with a concentration in logic, representation and reasoning.

The award is not made in years in which there is no senior in the program with a sufficiently distinguished record.

  • 2019: Jared Owens
  • 2018: Britton Noel
  • 2015: Christopher Becker
  • 2011: Ashley N. Walls
  • 2010: Jay Hodges
  • 2009: Melissa Schumacher

Lectures and Conferences

Logic and Cognitive Science Lecture Series

This series brings distinguished scholars to campus for public lectures. For details of previous and upcoming lectures in the series, explore activities and events in philosophy.

  • Louise Antony (Massachusetts)
  • Jc Beall (Connecticut)
  • Ned Block (NYU)
  • Robert Cummins (Illinois Urbana-Champaign)
  • Daniel Dennett (Tufts)
  • John Doris (Washington St. Louis)
  • Fred Dretske (Duke)
  • Jerry Fodor (Rutgers)
  • Gerd Gigerenzer (Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin)
  • Alvin Goldman (Rutgers)
  • Jaegwon Kim (Brown)
  • George Lakoff (Berkeley)
  • Joseph Levine (Massachusetts)
  • William Lycan (UNC at Chapel Hill)
  • Brian McLaughlin (Rutgers)
  • Karen Neander (Duke)
  • Daniel Povinelli (Louisiana)
  • Alexander Rosenberg (Duke)
  • Gillian Russell (UNC at Chapel Hill)
  • Teddy Seidenfeld (Carnegie Mellon University)
  • Elizabeth Spelke (Harvard)
  • Stephen Stich (Rutgers)
  • David Velleman (NYU)
  • Stephen Yablo (MIT)

LACSI Conferences

LACSI organized and hosted a conference on a select topic within its fields of interest in the fall semester of odd-numbered years from 2009 until 2019. Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, we skipped Fall 2021 and moved the conference to even-numbered years from Fall 2022. The topic of the Fall 2024 conference will be announced by January 2024.

Administration and Contacts

LACSI Steering Committee

  •  John W. Carroll, Ph.D. (Arizona), Professor of Philosophy
  •  Catherine M. Driscoll, Ph.D. (Rutgers), Associate Professor of Philosophy, Department Director of Undergraduate Advising, and Advisor in the Undergraduate Minor in Cognitive Science
  •  Ronald P. Endicott, Ph.D. (Michigan), Associate Professor of Philosophy, Director of the Cognitive Science Program, Advisor in the Graduate Minor in Cognitive Science, and Coordinator of the Logic and Cognitive Science Lecture Series
  • Brandon Kidd, Ph.D. (Illinois at Chicago), Postdoctoral Teaching Scholar
  •  Michael Pendlebury, Ph.D. (Indiana), Professor of Philosophy and Head of the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies, Committee Chair
  • Stephen Puryear, Ph.D. (Pittsburgh), Associate Professor of Philosophy and Associate Head of the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies


  • Cognitive Science Program; Graduate Minor in Cognitive Science; Logic and Cognitive Science Lecture Series: Ron Endicott
  •  B.S. in Philosophy with a Concentration in Logic, Representation and Reasoning; Undergraduate Minor in Cognitive Science; General curriculum matters: Catherine Driscoll
  •  Undergraduate Minor in Logic and Methodology, Courses in Logic and Philosophy of Language: Brandon Kidd
  •  All other matters, including conferences, public relations and development: Michael Pendlebury