Carnegie Mellon University

David Danks

David Danks

Department Head & L.L. Thurstone Professor of Philosophy and Psychology


David Danks is L.L. Thurstone Professor of Philosophy & Psychology, and Head of the Department of Philosophy, at Carnegie Mellon University. He is also the Chief Ethicist of CMU’s Block Center for Technology & Society; co-director of CMU’s Center for Informed Democracy and Social Cybersecurity (IDeaS); and an adjunct member of the Heinz College of Information Systems and Public Policy, and the Carnegie Mellon Neuroscience Institute. His research interests are at the intersection of philosophy, cognitive science, and machine learning, using ideas, methods, and frameworks from each to advance our understanding of complex, interdisciplinary problems. Danks has examined the ethical, psychological, and policy issues around AI and robotics in transportation, healthcare, privacy, and security. He has also done significant research in computational cognitive science, culminating in his Unifying the Mind: Cognitive Representations as Graphical Models (2014, The MIT Press). And he has developed multiple novel causal discovery algorithms for complex types of observational and experimental data. Danks is the recipient of a James S. McDonnell Foundation Scholar Award, as well as an Andrew Carnegie Fellowship. He received an A.B. in Philosophy from Princeton University, and a Ph.D. in Philosophy from University of California, San Diego.


Please visit David's personal website for publication information and C.V.


80-150: Nature of Reason
80-249: AI, Society, & Humanity
80-257: Nietzsche
80-270: Philosophy of Mind
80-271: Philosophy & Psychology
80-316/616: Probability & Artificial Intelligence
80-323/623: Philosophy of Biology

80-602: Proseminar/Philosophical Foundations seminar
80-514: Seminar on Philosophy of Science seminar (past seminars have included: Current Topics; Graphical Models in Cognitive Science; and Normativity in Cognitive Psychology)