Stevan Harnad

Stevan Robert Harnad (Hernád István Róbert, Hesslein István, born June 2, 1945, Budapest) is a cognitive scientist.

Stevan Harnad
Harnad in 2014
Born (1945-06-02) June 2, 1945
Budapest, Hungary
ResidenceMontréal, Canada
Alma materMcGill University, Princeton University
Scientific career
FieldsCognitive science
InstitutionsUniversité du Québec à Montréal, University of Southampton
ThesisGrounding Symbolic Representation in Categorical Perception (1992)
InfluencesDonald O. Hebb, Julian Jaynes, Noam Chomsky, Alan Turing, Charles Darwin


Harnad was born in Budapest, Hungary. He did his undergraduate work at McGill University and his graduate work at Princeton University's Department of Psychology. Harnad completed his Master of Arts degree in Psychology from McGill University in 1969,[1] his Doctor of Philosophy degree from Princeton University in 1992.[2] He was awarded an honorary doctorate by University of Liège in 2013.[3]


Harnad's research interests are in cognitive science and open access.[4][5] He is currently professor of psychology at Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM), McGill University, and professor emeritus of cognitive science at the University of Southampton. Elected external member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in 2001 (resigned in protest, 8 October 2016 [6]), he was Canada Research Chair in cognitive science 2001-2015. His research is on categorization,[7] communication,[8] cognition,[9] and consciousness[10] and he has written extensively on categorical perception, symbol grounding, origin of language, lateralization, the Turing test, distributed cognition, scientometrics, and consciousness. Harnad is a former student of Donald O. Hebb[11] and Julian Jaynes.[12]

Research publishing and open access

In 1978, Harnad was the founder[13] of Behavioral and Brain Sciences, of which he remained editor-in-chief until 2002.[14] In addition, he founded Psycoloquy (an early electronic journal sponsored by the American Psychological Association), CogPrints (an electronic eprint archive in the cognitive sciences hosted by the University of Southampton), and the American Scientist Open Access Forum[15] (since 1998; now the Global Open Access List, GOAL[16]). Harnad, an active promoter of open access self-archiving and EPrints [17] is currently Editor-in-Chief of the refereed journal Animal Sentience [18]

Political activism

Harnad is the author of a 2011 open letter[19] signed by over 60 external members of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences addressed to the Academy's President, József Pálinkás, concerning the press and police harassment campaign against Hungarian philosophers who were critics of the current Hungarian ruling party, Fidesz, and its prime minister, Viktor Orbán.[20][21]

Animal welfare

Harnad is Editor-in-Chief of the refereed journal Animal Sentience[22] launched in 2015 by the Institute of Science and Policy of The Humane Society of the United States. A vegan,[23][24] Harnad is increasingly active in animal welfare,[25][26] animal rights.[27] and animal law.[28][29]


  1. Harnad, Stevan (1969). The effects of fixation, attention, and report on the frequency and duration of visual disappearances (MA thesis). McGill University. ProQuest 302385436.
  2. Harnad, Stevan (1992). Grounding Symbolic Representation in Categorical Perception (PhD thesis). Princeton University. ProQuest 85555174.
  3. "Université de Liège - Academic Year Opening Ceremony 2013". Retrieved 2015-10-21.
  4. Stevan Harnad publications indexed by Google Scholar
  5. Stevan Harnad at DBLP Bibliography Server
  6. Gorondi, Pablo, Nobel winner joins scientists’ protest of Hungarian policies, AP News
  7. Harnad, Stevan (2005). To Cognize is to Categorize: Cognition is Categorization. Archived February 8, 2012, at the Wayback Machine in Lefebvre, C. and Cohen, H., Eds. Handbook of Categorization. Elsevier.
  8. Cangelosi, Angelo and Harnad, Stevan (2001). The adaptive advantage of symbolic theft over sensorimotor toil: Grounding language in perceptual categories. Archived April 17, 2016, at the Wayback Machine Evolution of Communication 4(1) 117-142
  9. Harnad, Stevan (2006). The Annotation Game: On Turing (1950) on Computing, Machinery, and Intelligence. Archived March 9, 2012, at the Wayback Machine In: Epstein, Robert & Peters, Grace (Eds.) Parsing the Turing Test: Philosophical and Methodological Issues in the Quest for the Thinking Computer. Springer
  10. Harnad, Stevan & Scherzer, Peter (2008). First, Scale Up to the Robotic Turing Test, Then Worry About Feeling. Archived February 8, 2012, at the Wayback Machine Artificial Intelligence in Medicine 44(2): 83-89
  11. "D.O. Hebb (1904 - 1985)". Retrieved 2015-10-21.
  12. What It Feels Like To Hear Voices: Fond Memories of Julian Jaynes Archived March 9, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  13. "Editorial". Retrieved 2015-10-21.
  14. "BBS Valedictory Editorial 2003". Retrieved 2015-10-21.
  15. Archive of American Scientist Open Access Forum Archived June 17, 2015, at the Wayback Machine
  16. "GOAL Info Page". Retrieved 2015-10-21.
  17. "Open Access". Retrieved 2015-10-21.
  18. Animal Sentience An Interdisciplinary Journal on Animal Feeling Archived October 21, 2016, at the Wayback Machine
  19. "Open Access Archivangelism".
  20. Bohannon, John (February 4, 2011). "Hungarian Academicians Blast Government Over Inquiry Into Research Funds". ScienceInsider. Archived from the original on February 9, 2011.
  21. "Hungarian newspaper targets former dissidents". Monsters and Critics. January 8, 2011.
  22. Animal Sentience An Interdisciplinary Journal on Animal Feeling Archived October 21, 2016, at the Wayback Machine
  23. Elise Desaulniers "I Am Ashamed to Have Been a Vegetarian for 50 Years" Archived July 31, 2016, at the Wayback Machine, Huffington Post, May 30, 2013.
  24. Stevan Harnad (2012) "Luxe, nécessité, souffrance: pourquoi je ne suis pas carnivore" Quèbec humaniste 8(1)
  25. Harnad, S. (2014) Animal pain and human pleasure: ethical dilemmas outside the classroom Archived March 4, 2016, at the Wayback Machine. LSE Impact Blog 6/13 June 13, 2014
  26. Marc Bekoff & Stevan Harnad (2015) Doing the Right Thing: An Interview With Stevan Harnad . Psychology Today Blog. January 2015
  27. Harnad, Stevan (2012). How/Why Explaining the Causal Role of Consciousness is Hard Archived October 21, 2016, at the Wayback Machine Turing Centenary Institute on the Evolution and Function of Consciousness"
  28. Manifesto for the Evolution of Animals’ Legal Status in the Civil Code of Quebec
  29. Audiovisuel. "GRIDA".

See also

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