Situating distributed cognition

Philosophical Psychology 27 (1):1-16 (2014)
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We historically and conceptually situate distributed cognition by drawing attention to important similarities in assumptions and methods with those of American ?functional psychology? as it emerged in contrast and complement to controlled laboratory study of the structural components and primitive ?elements? of consciousness. Functional psychology foregrounded the adaptive features of cognitive processes in environments, and adopted as a unit of analysis the overall situation of organism and environment. A methodological implication of this emphasis was, to the extent possible, the study of cognitive and other processes in the natural (real world) contexts in which they occur. We therefore emphasize commonalities and differences between functional psychology and D-Cog. One purpose of the comparison is to consider the extent to which criticisms directed at functional psychology are relevant to D-Cog. We also examine the relation between functional psychology and philosophical pragmatism and conclude that D-Cog's conceptual framework would be strengthened through more explicit adoption of philosophical pragmatism, consistent with the eventual trajectory of functional psychology



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Author Profiles

Nancy Nersessian
Georgia Institute of Technology

References found in this work

Science, Policy, and the Value-Free Ideal.Heather Douglas - 2009 - University of Pittsburgh Press.
The Bounds of Cognition.Frederick Adams & Kenneth Aizawa - 2008 - Malden, MA, USA: Wiley-Blackwell. Edited by Kenneth Aizawa.

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