Margaret Boden

Margaret A. Boden
Born (1936-11-26) 26 November 1936
Nationality English
Occupation Professor at the University of Sussex
Known for AI
Children 2
Academic background
Alma mater
Academic work
Discipline Cognitive science

Margaret Ann Boden, OBE, ScD, FBA (born 26 November 1936)[1] is research professor of cognitive science at the department of informatics at the University of Sussex, where her work embraces the fields of artificial intelligence, psychology, philosophy, cognitive and computer science.

Early life and education

Boden was educated at the City of London School for Girls in the late 1940s and 1950s. At Newnham College, Cambridge, she took first class honours in medical sciences, achieving the highest score across all Natural Sciences. In 1957 she studied the history of modern philosophy at the Cambridge Language Research Unit run by Margaret Masterman.


Boden was appointed lecturer in philosophy at the University of Birmingham in 1959. She became a Harkness Fellow at Harvard University from 1962 to 1964, then returned to Birmingham for a year before moving to a lectureship in philosophy and psychology at Sussex University in 1965, where she was later appointed as Reader then Professor. She was awarded a PhD in social psychology (specialism: cognitive studies) by Harvard in 1968.[2]

She credits reading "Plans and the structure of behavior" (Miller) with giving her the realisation that computer programme approaches could be applied to the whole of psychology.[3]

She was the founding Dean of the University of Sussex's School of Cognitive and Computing Sciences (COGS), precursor of the university's current Department of Informatics. Since 1997 she has been research professor of cognitive science at the Department of informatics, where her work encompasses the fields of artificial intelligence, psychology, philosophy, cognitive and computer science.[4]

Boden is a member of the editorial board for The Rutherford Journal.[5]


In October 2014 and January 2015, Boden was interviewed by Jim Al-Khalili on the BBC Radio Four programme The Life Scientific.[3]

In February 2017, Boden, along with other researchers, participated in a debate organized by the British Academy on the readiness of humans to develop romantic relationships with robots.[6]


  • Purposive Explanation in Psychology (Harvard University Press, 1972);
  • Artificial Intelligence and Natural Man (1977/1987: 2nd edn., MIT Press), ISBN 978-0-262-52123-9
  • Piaget (Fontana Modern Masters 1979; 2nd edn. Harper Collins, 1984);
  • The Case for a Cognitive Biology. (In Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, 54: 25–40, with Susan Khin Zaw, 1980);
  • Minds and Mechanisms (Cornell University Press, 1981);
  • Computer Models of Mind: Computational approaches in theoretical psychology (Cambridge University Press, 1988), ISBN 978-0-521-27033-5
  • Artificial Intelligence in Psychology: Interdisciplinary Essays (MIT Press, 1989), ISBN 978-0-262-02285-9
  • The Philosophy of Artificial Intelligence, ed. (Oxford Readings in Philosophy, Oxford University Press, 1989/90), ISBN 978-0-19-875155-7
  • The Creative Mind: Myths and Mechanisms (Weidenfeld/Abacus & Basic Books, 1990; 2nd edn. Routldge, 2004), ISBN 978-0-415-31453-4
  • Dimensions of Creativity, ed. (MIT Press, 1994);
  • The Philosophy of Artificial Life, ed. Oxford University Press, 1996).
  • Artificial Intelligence (Handbook of Perception and Cognition, 2nd Ed, Academic Press Inc., 1996), ISBN 978-0-12-161964-0
  • Mind As Machine: a History of Cognitive Science, (2 volumes, Oxford University Press, 2006), ISBN 978-0-19-929237-0 / ISBN 978-0-19-924144-6. This generated public disagreement with Noam Chomsky.[7]
  • AI: Its Nature and Future (2016), ISBN 978-0198777984


See also


  1. "Today in History - November 26 - Page 4". Retrieved 2016-10-20.
  2. "John Templeton Foundation: Participants". Retrieved 2016-10-20.
  3. 1 2 "BBC Radio 4 - The Life Scientific, Margaret Boden". 2014-10-21. Retrieved 2016-10-20.
  4. "Margaret A Boden | Home Page". Archived from the original on 2016-10-05. Retrieved 2016-10-20.
  5. "Editorial board". The Rutherford Journal. Retrieved 19 December 2016.
  6. "Are we ready for robot relationships?". Retrieved 2017-12-07.
  7. Noam Chomsky Symposium on Margaret Boden, Mind as Machine: A History of Cognitive Science, Oxford (2006) two volumes. Reviewed in Artificial Intelligence Volume 171, Issue 18, (December 2007) Pages 1094-1103
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