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© Martin Brombacher

I am a philosopher of science and cognitive scientist. I work on the metaphysics of science, philosophy of biology, cognitive science and psychology, the metaphysics of mind and causation.

I am Professor for Philosophy of Cognition at TU Berlin. Before that I worked as a post-doctoral researcher, principal investigator, and scientific coordinator of the DFG-Research Training Group Situated Cognition at Ruhr-University of Bochum. I had a lecturer position at Humboldt University Berlin and at Westfälische Wilhelms University Münster. I studied Cognitive Science at University Osnabrück, Philosophy at Westfälische Wilhelms-University Münster. I obtained my PhD at Humboldt University Berlin.

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My Research Projects


Image by Robina Weermeijer

DFG funded project (04/24-03/27):
Mechanistic and representational explanation in cognitive neuroscience

In collaboration with Nir Fresco, we will investigate whether or how representational, computational and mechanistic explanation in cognitive neuroscience relate. We start from the observation of an (apparent) tension:  neuroscientific mechanistic explanations can prima facie refer exclusively to factors within the brain. Representational properties, though, supervene on the organism’s relations to its external world and/or past. This raises, what we dub, the compatibility challenge: can explanations in cognitive neuroscience be simultaneously mechanistic and representational?



What 'constitutes' cognition?

Can the body or elements of the environment be constituents of cognitive processes? What does it mean to be a constituent of cognition? How can we empirically find constituents? As a part of the Meta-questions project, I investigate how we can empirically and theoretically distinguish inputs/outputs of cognition from constituents of cognition.


Maschine Skizze

Mechanisms in Biology

Biologists explain phenomena by describing mechanisms that are responsible for these phenomena. What are mechanisms? What are the ontological commitments of biology implied by this explanatory practice? In a recent book and various articles, I provide a realist interpretation of mechanisms and show which consequences follow for philosophical theories of causation, constitution, levels of science, and explanation.



The Unconscious Mind

There is a growing consensus among psychologists and philosophers that many of our mental processes occur unconsciously. What does it mean for a mental process to be unconscious? How do scientists justify the postulation of unconscious mental processes? In a recent paper, I ask these questions with respect to one phenomenon that is currently a hot topic in philosophy and psychology: implicit bias.



ARCHIV (2017-2020)
4E-Cognition: Meta-Questions

As a subproject of the RTG "Situated Cognition" and together with my former PhD-student, Matej Kohár, I investigated the theoretical basis of 4E-approaches to cognition.

November 2023

New DFG-Project! Together with Nir Fresco, we will investigate how representational, computational, and mechanistic explanations in cognitive neuroscience relate.

January 2023

I became associate editor of the open access and interdisciplinary journal "Philosophy and the Mind Sciences"

January 2023

I am the new Dean of the Faculty for Humanities and Educational Sciences.

June 2021

The Riksbankens Jubileumsfond (Sweden) has decided to award me the 31st Swedish prize - a research award for "outstanding German scholars". This comes with a six months research stay at the Department of Philosophy at Uppsala University next year.

August 2020

Online-Workshop "Representation, Computation, Mechanism: What is the Best Explanation of Cognition?"

March 2020

Like everyone else, I switch to online teaching. My online lectures etc. can be found here (please ask for PW).

April 2021

Call for Papers! Special Issue in Synthese on "Multilayer networks and mechanisms in neuroscience and psychiatry"

February 2020

New position: I started working at TU Berlin as Professor for Philosophy of Cognition

April 2020

Interview WAZ

April 2020

Interview Schule heute

September 2020

Call for Papers: Albert Newen, Achim Stephan, Leon de Bruin, and I are editing the Topic "Situated Cogntition" in Frontiers in Psychology.

November 2019

First meta4e Workshop!
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