George Miller, one of the instigators of the “cognitive revolution”, has died. He passed away on Sunday July 22nd of natural causes, aged 92. I mentioned Miller’s classic 1956 paper in my first post on this blog. Here’s a nice article he wrote for Trends in Cognitive Science in 2003: “The cognitive revolution: a historical perspective”. The article starts:
Cognitive science is a child of the 1950s, the product of a time when psychology, anthropology and linguistics were redefining themselves and computer science and neuroscience as disciplines were coming into existence. Psychology could not participate in the cognitive revolution until it had freed itself from behaviorism, thus restoring cognition to scientific respectability. By then, it was becoming clear in several disciplines that the solution to some of their problems depended crucially on solving problems traditionally allocated to other disciplines. Collaboration was called for: this is a personal account of how it came about.
Miller writes “[a]t the time it was happening I did not realize that I was,
in fact, a revolutionary”. He was, of course one of the most important figures in psychology, and will be missed.