Project C2Learn will introduce and explore new non-linear reasoning processes, as fundamental heuristic devices in problem solving.

The initiative is based on recent results in cognitive science, which have marked a breakthrough in our understanding of the roots of thinking and its relation to emotion and representation. It will involve the implementation of Diagrammatic Reasoning and Emotive Reasoning in building solution-possibilities based on abstract structural or affective features of problem cases. The project builds on Antonio Damasio’s and Keith Stenning’s work on the cognitive role of emotions. Damasio has shown that emotions are a more primitive ground of reasoning and of decision making than concepts, having guided action, pre-conceptually, from very early on in our evolutionary chain. Stenning built on the experimental findings of Damasio, utilising Wittgenstein’s semantic theory of definition to explain how emotions operate as the ground of abstraction and classification in comprehending the world around us, by underlying analogy, comparison, and similarity. We shall use these results to build new models of lateral thinking, aiming at their implementation in learning processes.

Project team: 
  • Principal Investigator (Edinburgh): Prof Dory Scaltsas

  • Senior Investigator: Prof Keith Stenning

  • Research Assistant: Constantine Alexopoulos

  • Project Consortia: Ellinogermaniki Agogi (Coordinator, Greece); Edinburgh University (Philosophy, UK); National Centre of Scientific Research - Demokritos, Linguistics, (Greece); Open University, Education and Language Studies (UK); IT University of Copenhagen, Centre for Games Research (Denmark); Serious Games Interactive (Denmark); Austrian Ministry of Education and Culture

Project duration: 
3 years
Funded by an EU 7th Framework Programme award (Information and Communication Technologies) (approx. €3.3M overall, Edinburgh component €450K)