Friends with benefits! Distributed cognition hooks up cognitive and social conceptions of science

Philosophical Psychology 28 (8):1114-1127 (2015)
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One approach to science treats science as a cognitive accomplishment of individuals and defines a scientific community as an aggregate of individual inquirers. Another treats science as a fundamentally collective endeavor and defines a scientist as a member of a scientific community. Distributed cognition has been offered as a framework that could be used to reconcile these two approaches. Adam Toon has recently asked if the cognitive and the social can be friends at last. He answers that they probably cannot, posing objections to the would-be rapprochement. We clarify both the animosity and the tonic proposed to resolve it, ultimately arguing that worries raised by Toon and others are uncompelling

Author Profiles

P. D. Magnus
State University of New York, Albany
Ron McClamrock
State University of New York, Albany


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