For centuries, science had made great effort in our understanding on the external observable world. But during much of this time, there were still many unanswered questions about something seemingly so important to us. That something is the human mind. What is mind? The journey in searching the answer to this question dated back to as early as 400 B.C. with Plato, one of the greatest Greek philosopher. There are a lot of ways to tackle this question; with psychology looking into this question from the perspective of internal mental operations (memory, intelligence, attention etc.), neuroscience attempt to explain mind in term of its underlying brain mechanism (structures and functions of human brain). Computer science compares working of mind to computer (computational perspective). Anthropology studies mental difference in different setting (human thought and human culture).
All these disciplines seem to be surrounding one big scope, which is the mind. However, when it comes to studying something as complex as mind, no single perspective is sufficient to provide accurate and precise explanation. Studying mind from any single field is like the story of the blind man and the elephant. Psychologists touching the ears and claim it as a fan, neuroscientists pulling the tail and claim it as a rope, computer scientists knocking the body and claim it as a wall and so on. Therefore, in the mid 1950s, a new field of study which combines all these disciplines in order to get a bigger picture of mind emerged, namely cognitive science (Bogdan, 2010).
Being a cognitive science student, I have been taught that cognitive science is a scientific interdisciplinary study of mind. With each discipline contributes its own data, study methodologies, and perspective, the ultimate goal of cognitive science is to combine and fill in the missing pieces in this puzzling puzzle since 400 B.C. However, I came across Bechtel's book, and