David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
I begin with a representative example of a contemporary scientific activity, observations using the Hubble Space Telescope, and ask what approaches within the cognitive sciences seem most fruitful as aids in developing an overall account of this sort of scientific activity. After presenting the Hubble Space Telescope System and a recent result, I consider applying a standard computational paradigm to this system. I find difficulties in identifying an appropriate cognitive agent and in making a suitable place for the instrumentation that constitutes such a large part of the whole system. I next consider applying the notion of distributed cognition as developed by Hutchins (1995), and then return to the question whether The Hubble System, understood as a distributed cognitive system, should be regarded as a computational system. I find a large computational component, but also an important part, the Hubble Telescope itself, that seems better characterized as a dynamic system than as a computational system. Moreover, the group of scientists interpreting the images produced by the system seem best thought of as a human/cultural system along the lines advocated by those developing a cognitive (Lakoff, 1987) or usage-based (Tomasello, 2003) approach to language acquisition and language use. I argue next that, while cognition may be theorized as distributed among both humans and instruments, there is no need to introduce into cognitive science a notion of distributed knowledge beyond simple collective knowledge. Even less is there any need to introduce notions of distributed mind or distributed consciousness. The result is that the agency involved in distributed cognitive systems remains simply human agency as ordinarily conceived. I conclude that distributed cognitive systems like The Hubble System are hybrid systems composed partly of dynamic physical systems, partly of computational systems, and partly of human cultural systems.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library||
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Ronald N. Giere (2006). The Role of Agency in Distributed Cognitive Systems. Philosophy of Science 73 (5):710-719.
Ronald N. Giere (2011). Distributed Cognition as Human Centered Although Not Human Bound: Reply to Vaesen 1. Social Epistemology 25 (4):393 - 399.
Ronald N. Giere (2004). The Problem of Agency in Scienti?C Distributed Cognitive Systems. Journal of Cognition and Culture 4 (3-4):759-774.
Ronald N. Giere (2007). Distributed Cognition Without Distributed Knowing. Social Epistemology 21 (3):313 – 320.
Ronald N. Giere (2007). Distributed Cognition Without Distributed Knowing. Social Epistemology 21 (3):313-320.
Barton Moffatt & Ronald N. Giere (2003). Distributed Cognition: Where the Cognitive and the Social Merge. Social Studies of Science 33 (2):301-310.
Christian List (2003). Distributed Cognition: A Perspective From Social Choice Theory. In M. Albert, D. Schmidtchen & S. Voigt (eds.), Scientific Competition: Theory and Policy, Conferences on New Political Economy. Mohr Siebeck.
Ronald N. Giere (2002). Discussion Note: Distributed Cognition in Epistemic Cultures. Philosophy of Science 69 (4):637-644.
Michael David Kirchhoff & Will Newsome (2012). Distributed Cognitive Agency in Virtue Epistemology. Philosophical Explorations 15 (2):165 - 180.
Ronald Giere (2002). 15 Scientific Cognition as Distributed Cognition. In Peter Carruthers, Stephen P. Stich & Michael Siegal (eds.), The Cognitive Basis of Science. Cambridge University Press. 285.
Nir Fresco (2011). Concrete Digital Computation: What Does It Take for a Physical System to Compute? [REVIEW] Journal of Logic, Language and Information 20 (4):513-537.
David J. Chalmers (2011). A Computational Foundation for the Study of Cognition. Journal of Cognitive Science 12 (4):323-357.
Fred Adams (2010). Embodied Cognition. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 9 (4):619-628.
Added to index2010-12-22
Total downloads28 ( #58,875 of 1,096,452 )
Recent downloads (6 months)2 ( #134,922 of 1,096,452 )
How can I increase my downloads?