Research Topic

Prefix “Meta” in Cognitive Science

About this Research Topic

As becoming more complicated, all aspects of human activity turn to be reflected from the perspective of the meta-approach. The prefix “meta” was introduced for different reasons by many eminent scholars, such as metacognition by John Flavell in 1976, metacommunication by Benjamin Whorf and Gregory Bateson in 1951, meta-emotion by John Gottman, Lynn Katz, and Carole Hooven in 1996, and meta-perception by Ronald Laing in 1966. Abraham Maslow also introduced the term meta-motivation, meta-needs, and meta-pathology in 1967. All of them had their own reasons for using prefix “meta”: unsolved problems, methods of manipulation, objects of analysis, goals, and results.

In this Research Topic, we would like to focus on the role prefix “meta” plays in the study of the mind. Specifically, we hope to create a platform where the general and specific details of the meta-approach development in different cognitive science areas will be visible. Our goal is to show why meta-level is required and the fruitful outcomes it brings to the issues and subject matters in which it appears.

Besides concrete applications, this Research Topic aims at exploring the epistemological relevance of the "meta" prefix, investigating for instance whether it is just a way of clustering existing knowledge, or it is a reflexive level, or it generates new knowledge. Furthermore, in different branches of Cognitive Science efforts to use the meta-approach are growing independently. Thus, an attempt to integrate diverse areas of study of mind seems natural and necessary under the given conditions. Does the focus on “meta” facilitate or inhibit the transdisciplinary debate in Cognitive Science? Does it point to a unified abstract language creation in the study of the mind or through a hyper-specialization?

To cover these questions and provide a substantial and innovative contribution, we invite researchers conducting studies at one of the following levels:
• Philosophy of mind, such as meta-epistemology, meta-ontology, meta-semantics, and meta-philosophy
• Specific studies of the mind, such as metacognition, metacommunication, meta-attention, meta-emotion, metamemory, meta-perception, and meta-motivation
• General terms used in Cognitive Science, such as meta-approach, metalanguage, meta-level, meta-structure, and meta-theory

All article types are welcome but the following types are preferred: Conceptual Analysis, Hypothesis and Theory, Methods, Original Research, and Systematic Review.


Keywords: meta-approach, prefix “meta”, meta-level, studies of the mind, philosophy of mind


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

As becoming more complicated, all aspects of human activity turn to be reflected from the perspective of the meta-approach. The prefix “meta” was introduced for different reasons by many eminent scholars, such as metacognition by John Flavell in 1976, metacommunication by Benjamin Whorf and Gregory Bateson in 1951, meta-emotion by John Gottman, Lynn Katz, and Carole Hooven in 1996, and meta-perception by Ronald Laing in 1966. Abraham Maslow also introduced the term meta-motivation, meta-needs, and meta-pathology in 1967. All of them had their own reasons for using prefix “meta”: unsolved problems, methods of manipulation, objects of analysis, goals, and results.

In this Research Topic, we would like to focus on the role prefix “meta” plays in the study of the mind. Specifically, we hope to create a platform where the general and specific details of the meta-approach development in different cognitive science areas will be visible. Our goal is to show why meta-level is required and the fruitful outcomes it brings to the issues and subject matters in which it appears.

Besides concrete applications, this Research Topic aims at exploring the epistemological relevance of the "meta" prefix, investigating for instance whether it is just a way of clustering existing knowledge, or it is a reflexive level, or it generates new knowledge. Furthermore, in different branches of Cognitive Science efforts to use the meta-approach are growing independently. Thus, an attempt to integrate diverse areas of study of mind seems natural and necessary under the given conditions. Does the focus on “meta” facilitate or inhibit the transdisciplinary debate in Cognitive Science? Does it point to a unified abstract language creation in the study of the mind or through a hyper-specialization?

To cover these questions and provide a substantial and innovative contribution, we invite researchers conducting studies at one of the following levels:
• Philosophy of mind, such as meta-epistemology, meta-ontology, meta-semantics, and meta-philosophy
• Specific studies of the mind, such as metacognition, metacommunication, meta-attention, meta-emotion, metamemory, meta-perception, and meta-motivation
• General terms used in Cognitive Science, such as meta-approach, metalanguage, meta-level, meta-structure, and meta-theory

All article types are welcome but the following types are preferred: Conceptual Analysis, Hypothesis and Theory, Methods, Original Research, and Systematic Review.


Keywords: meta-approach, prefix “meta”, meta-level, studies of the mind, philosophy of mind


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

04 August 2020 Abstract
31 January 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

04 August 2020 Abstract
31 January 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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