Paul Thagard (born September 28, 1950) is a Canadian philosopher who specializes in philosophy, cognitive science, and the philosophy of science. Thagard is currently a professor of Philosophy at the University of Waterloo, with cross appointment to Psychology and Computer Science. He is the director of the Cognitive Science Program. Thagard is a prolific writer, and has contributed to research in analogy and creativity, inference, cognition in the history of science, and the role of emotion in cognition.In the philosophy of science, Thagard is enormously well cited for his work on the use of computational models in explaining conceptual revolutions. Perhaps his most distinctive contribution to the field is the concept of explanatory coherence, which he has applied to many historical cases. He is heavily influenced by pragmatists like C.S. Peirce, and has contributed to the refinement of the idea of inference to the best explanation.In the philosophy of mind, he is known for his attempts to apply connectionist models of coherence to theories of human thought and action. He is also known for HOTCO, which was his attempt to create a computer model of cognition that incorporated emotions at a fundamental level.In his general approach to philosophy, Thagard is sharply critical of analytic philosophy for being overly dependent upon intuitions as a source of evidence.