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Margaret Boden

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Name  Margaret Boden

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Books  The creative mind, Mind as Machine: A History of, Dimensions of Creativity, Creativity and Art: Three Ro, Computer models of mind

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Margaret Ann Boden, OBE, ScD, FBA (born 26 November 1936) is research professor of cognitive science at the department of informatics at the University of Sussex, where her work embraces the fields of artificial intelligence, psychology, philosophy, cognitive and computer science.


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Early life and education

Margaret Boden SGAI International Conference on Artificial Intelligence

Boden was educated at the City of London School for Girls in the late 1940s and 1950s. At Newnham College, Cambridge, she took first class honours in medical sciences, achieving the highest score across all Natural Sciences. In 1957 she studied the history of modern philosophy at the Cambridge Language Research Unit run by Margaret Masterman.


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Boden was appointed lecturer in philosophy at the University of Birmingham in 1959. She became a Harkness Fellow at Harvard University from 1962 to 1964, then returned to Birmingham for a year before moving to a lectureship in philosophy and psychology at Sussex University in 1965, where she was later appointed as Reader then Professor. She was awarded a PhD in social psychology (specialism: cognitive studies) by Harvard in 1968.

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She credits reading "Plans and the structure of behaviour" (Miller) with giving her the realisation that computer programme approaches could be applied to the whole of psychology.

She was the founding Dean of the University of Sussex's School of Cognitive and Computing Sciences (COGS), precursor of the university's current Department of Informatics. Since 1997 she has been research professor of cognitive science at the Department of informatics, where her work encompasses the fields of artificial intelligence, psychology, philosophy, cognitive and computer science.

Boden is a member of the editorial board for The Rutherford Journal.


In October 2014 and January 2015 Boden was interviewed by Jim Al-Khalili on the BBC Radio Four programme The Life Scientific.


  • Purposive Explanation in Psychology (Harvard University Press, 1972);
  • Artificial Intelligence and Natural Man (1977/1987: 2nd edn., MIT Press), ISBN 978-0-262-52123-9
  • Piaget (Fontana Modern Masters 1979; 2nd edn. Harper Collins, 1984);
  • The Case for a Cognitive Biology. (In Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, 54: 25–40, with Susan Khin Zaw, 1980);
  • Minds and Mechanisms (Cornell University Press, 1981);
  • Computer Models of Mind: Computational approaches in theoretical psychology (Cambridge University Press, 1988), ISBN 978-0-521-27033-5
  • Artificial Intelligence in Psychology: Interdisciplinary Essays (MIT Press, 1989), ISBN 978-0-262-02285-9
  • The Philosophy of Artificial Intelligence, ed. (Oxford Readings in Philosophy, Oxford University Press, 1989/90), ISBN 978-0-19-875155-7
  • The Creative Mind: Myths and Mechanisms (Weidenfeld/Abacus & Basic Books, 1990; 2nd edn. Routldge, 2004), ISBN 978-0-415-31453-4
  • Dimensions of Creativity, ed. (MIT Press, 1994);
  • The Philosophy of Artificial Life, ed. Oxford University Press, 1996).
  • Artificial Intelligence (Handbook of Perception and Cognition, 2nd Ed, Academic Press Inc., 1996), ISBN 978-0-12-161964-0
  • Mind As Machine: a History of Cognitive Science, (2 volumes, Oxford University Press, 2006), ISBN 978-0-19-929237-0 / ISBN 978-0-19-924144-6. This generated public disagreement with Noam Chomsky.
  • AI: Its Nature and Future (2016), ISBN 978-0198777984
  • Honours

  • Boden was awarded an O.B.E. in 2001 for "services to cognitive science".
  • Fellow (and former Vice-President) of the British Academy — and Chairman of their Philosophy Section until July 2002.
  • Member of the Academia Europaea.
  • Fellow of the American Association for Artificial Intelligence (AAAI).
  • Fellow of the European Coordinating Committee for Artificial Intelligence (ECCAI).
  • Life Fellow of the UK's Society for Artificial Intelligence and the Simulation of Behaviour.
  • Member of Council of the Royal Institute of Philosophy.
  • Former Vice-President (and Chairman of Council) of the Royal Institution of Great Britain.
  • In April 2004 she was awarded an Honorary Degree by the Open University as Doctor of the University.
  • References

    Margaret Boden Wikipedia