Trained in both mathematics and philosophy in Paris (thèse d’Etat, 1975) and at UC Berkeley (PhD, 1973), where he held a Harkness fellowship, Daniel Andler taught mathematics before moving to positions in philosophy. He held the chair of philosophy of science and epistemology at Université Paris-Sorbonne (Paris IV) — now Sorbonne Université — from 1999 until 2015,when he became emeritus, and is an honorary member of the Institut universitaire de France. He was elected to the Académie des sciences morales et politiques in December 2016.
His central interest lies in the foundations of cognitive science and the import of this field on our understanding of human affairs and the role of philosophy. He has worked on specific issues concerning models of the mind, the role of context, and reasoning. He defends a minimal version of naturalism, with the aim of articulating cognitive science with the social sciences. He is also engaged in a number of more applied projects concerning the use of scientific knowledge in policy issues, and the transformations of education brought about by advances in cognitive science and information technologies. He has published extensively in philosophy of science and on the foundations of cognitive science. His latest book, La Silhouette de l’humain, (English summary here came out in 2016; a co-edited textbook in cognitive science was published in 2018. The recent surge of interest in Artificial Intelligence has prompted him to return to this topic—an essay is due to appear in 2022.
Daniel Andler founded and directed a number of institutions, among which the Department of Cognitive Studies (DEC) at Ecole normale supérieure, the research team “Sciences, normes, démocratie” within Sorbonne Université￼, the learned society Société de philosophie des sciences (SPS), the master’s program in cognitive science — the so-called Cogmaster —(ENS-EHESS-Universite de Paris), the Compas group, a think-tank within DEC, dedicated to exploring the synergies between cognitive science and ICT in education. He was a founding member of the European Society for Philosophy and Psychology (EuroSPP), and was until recently the director of the web journal Lato Sensu. Within the Académie des sciences morales et politiques, he has recently launched a 3-year project, (TESaCo) funded by Fondation Simone et Cino Del Duca, aiming at exploring and developing means of exercising collective intelligence to harness the emerging (digital, bio, nano...) technologies.