Poznanie rozproszone. Od heurystyk do mechanizmów [Distributed Cognition: From Heuristics to Mechanisms]

Lublin, Polska: Wydawnictwo UMCS (2022)
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My basic research question – well beyond the scope of this book – is what the relationships between cognitive processes and cultural structures and practices are. Here, I get closer to answering this question in the following five steps: (1) I present cognitive ecology as a research tradition in cognitive science, characteristic of the approaches to wide cognition, i.e., embodied, embedded, extended, ecological psychology, enactivism, etc. (2) I distinguish two dimensions of the distributed cognition approach: as a theoretical framework and as a task model, focusing on the former. This distinction has so far eluded cognitive science theorists, and this approach has not been sufficiently analysed as a potential theory of cognitive science in general and the basis for its integration, being reduced to the dimension of the task model. (3) I discuss approaches in research on interactions in distributed cognitive systems, focusing more on the notion of external representations, and mostly on the notion of affordance. When assessing the potential of the latter, I look for consistency in what is crucial for understanding the interactions, between ecological psychology and design research. (4) I analyze the up to now underestimated potential of the distributed cognition approach in the dispute over the bounds of cognitive processes. (5) I identify and assess the analogies between the distributed cognition approach and the neo-mechanistic model of explanation that has become popular in cognitive science, and indicate possible benefits for the integration of the latter. As one can see, I am not trying to fully answer the question about the relationship between cognition and culture, but rather assess to what extent cognitive science in its current form is capable of.

Author's Profile

Witold M. Wachowski
Maria Curie-Sklodowska University


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