The Institute of Philosophy of Mind and Cognition (IPMC) was established in 2005 and approved by the Ministry of Education to establish a master’s program in 2007. It recruited five students for the master’s program in 2008. Professor Allen Houng was responsible for the planning and establishment. During this period, he received full support from former President Wu Yanhua and all the Deans.
From 2008 to 2017, the number of faculty members in IPMC increased from 3 full-time professors (Allen Houng, Wen-Fang Wang, and Thomas Benda) to 6 full-time professors (Wen-Fang Wang, Thomas Benda, Kai-Yuan Cheng, Aleksandra Mroczko-Wasowicz, Karen Yan, Ying-Tung Lin) and two part-time professors (Allen Houng, Pei-Chi Tu). By 2015, the percentage of full-time foreign professors was 33%, and the percentage of full-time female professors was 50%. IPMC was the first philosophy institute/department in Taiwan to achieve this gender ratio, and one of the few institutes/departments in the world to achieve such a ratio.
Between 2019 and 2021, two faculty members retired and one resigned for personal reasons. In August 2021, Michael Stuart joined IPMC. Currently, the percentage of full-time female professors is 50%, and the percentage of full-time foreign professors is 25%.
Between 2008 to 2021, our enrollment quota increased from five to seven, and 40 students have graduated from IPMC. There are 14 students who have gone abroad for further graduate studies in the US, Canada, Germany, Amsterdam, and the UK; and 12 out of 14 of those students (86%) received some form of financial support from those programs. Many of our students have presented their papers at international conferences and have received travel grants from the Ministry of Science and Technology in Taiwan.
In the first ten years of IPMC, the core research focus was consciousness studies and the philosophy of cognitive science. With the gradual diversification of our faculty members, and in response to international research needs for cross-disciplinary integration of neuroscience, clinical medicine, AI, and humanities, our institute established the Philosophy, Intelligence, Mind and Brain program (PIBM) in January 2019. This program is an interdisciplinary undergraduate program. The mandate of PIBM is to cultivate students’ abilities to integrate the humanities with biomedical information communication technology (Biomedical ICT). The unique feature of PIBM lies in teaching cutting-edge empirical philosophy of science research methods, such as experimental philosophy, cognitive ethnography, text mining, network analysis, and the interdisciplinary toolbox method. In the PIBM program, students learn how to combine the philosophy of mind and cognition, ethics and values, and empirical scientific research tools to develop their careers in science.