The role of agency in distributed cognitive systems

Philosophy of Science 73 (5):710-719 (2006)
In previous publications I have argued that much scientific activity should be thought of as involving the operation of distributed cognitive systems. Since these contributions to the cognitive study of science appear in venues not necessarily frequented by philosophers of science, I begin with a brief introduction to the notion of a distributed cognitive system. I then describe what I take to be an exemplary case of a scientific distributed cognitive system, the Hubble Space Telescope (HST). I do not here reargue the case for conceiving of systems like the HST as distributed cognitive systems. Rather, I examine a question that arises once one has adopted the perspective of distributed cognitive systems, namely, the role of agency in a distributed cognitive system. Here I argue, contrary to several advocates of distributed cognitive systems, that we should regard the human components of distributed cognitive systems as the only sources of agency within such systems. In particular, we should not extend notions of agency to such systems as a whole.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1086/518772
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 23,651
External links
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

View all 21 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

View all 9 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

69 ( #69,676 of 1,902,527 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

8 ( #113,834 of 1,902,527 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.