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P.D. Magnus

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

A defense of a metaphysically-thin conception of distributed cognition as a framework for thinking about science, in response especially to Adam Toon.

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Abstract

One approach to science treats science as a cognitive accomplishment of individuals and so defines a scientific community as an aggregate of individual enquirers. Another treats science as a fundamentally collective endeavor and so 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 that worries raised by Toon and others are uncompelling.

BibTeX

@ARTICLE(Magnus+McClamrock2014,
	AUTHOR = {P.D. Magnus and Ron McClamrock},
	TITLE = {Friends with benefits! Distributed cognition hooks up cognitive and social conceptions of science},
	JOURNAL = {Philosophical Psychology},
	YEAR = {2014},
	DOI = {10.1080/09515089.2014.964857}
)

The first on-line draft of this paper was posted 17jan2014.

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