Visual cognition: Where cognition and culture meet

Philosophy of Science 73 (5):688-698 (2006)
Case studies of diverse scientific fields show how scientists use a range of resources to generate new interpretative models and to establish their plausibility as explanations of a domain. They accomplish this by manipulating imagistic representations in particular ways. I show that scientists in different domains use the same basic transformations. Common features of these transformations indicate that general cognitive strategies of interpretation, simplification, elaboration, and argumentation are at work. Social and historical studies of science emphasize the diversity of local contexts of practice. However, the existence of common strategies shows that this diversity masks an important repertoire of cognitive strategies. Scientists use this repertoire to adapt their representations to meet the cognitive demands of different contexts of practice. This paper considers the implications of this finding for the notion of scientists as cognitive agents in distributed knowledge-producing systems.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
 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: 9,360
External links
  • Through your library Configure
    References found in this work BETA

    View all 7 references

    Citations of this work BETA
    Mathieu Charbonneau (2013). The Cognitive Life of Mechanical Molecular Models. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 44 (4):585-594.
    Similar books and articles

    Monthly downloads

    Added to index


    Total downloads

    20 ( #71,719 of 1,089,055 )

    Recent downloads (6 months)

    1 ( #69,801 of 1,089,055 )

    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.