Giere (2002)

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Giere, Ronald. (2002) Scientific Cognition as Distributed Cognition. In Carruthers, Stitch, and Siegal (Eds.) (2002), 285-299.

Title Scientific Cognition as Distributed Cognition
Resource Type collection article
Author(s) Ronald Giere
Year 2002
Collection Carruthers, Stitch, and Siegal (Eds.) (2002)
Pages 285-299


After introducing several different approaches to distributed cognition, I consider the application of these ideas to modern science, especially the role of instrumentation and visual representations in science. I then examine several apparent difficulties with taking distributed cognition seriously. After arguing that these difficulties are only apparent, I note the ease with which distributed cognition accommodates normative concerns. I also present an example showing that understanding cognition as distributed bridges the often perceived gap between cognitive and social theories of science. The paper concludes by suggesting some implications for the history of science and for the cognitive study of science in general.