David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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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.
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References found in this work BETA
Nancy Cartwright (1983). How the Laws of Physics Lie. Oxford University Press.
Nancy Cartwright (1999). The Dappled World: A Study of the Boundaries of Science. Cambridge University Press.
Paul M. Churchland (1989). A Neurocomputational Perspective: The Nature of Mind and the Structure of Science. MIT Press.
Citations of this work BETA
Boaz Miller & Isaac Record (2013). Justified Belief in a Digital Age: On the Epistemic Implications of Secret Internet Technologies. Episteme 10 (02):117 - 134.
Robert D. Rupert (2013). Memory, Natural Kinds, and Cognitive Extension; or, Martians Don't Remember, and Cognitive Science Is Not About Cognition. Review of Philosophy and Psychology 4 (1):25-47.
Sean Allen-Hermanson (2013). Superdupersizing the Mind: Extended Cognition and the Persistence of Cognitive Bloat. Philosophical Studies 164 (3):791-806.
Robert D. Rupert (2011). Empirical Arguments for Group Minds: A Critical Appraisal. Philosophy Compass 6 (9):630-639.
Deborah P. Tollefsen, Rick Dale & Alexandra Paxton (2013). Alignment, Transactive Memory, and Collective Cognitive Systems. Review of Philosophy and Psychology 4 (1):49-64.
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