You are not currently logged in.
Access your personal account or get JSTOR access through your library or other institution:
If You Use a Screen ReaderThis content is available through Read Online (Free) program, which relies on page scans. Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Discussion Note: Distributed Cognition in Epistemic Cultures
Ronald N. Giere
Philosophy of Science
Vol. 69, No. 4 (December 2002), pp. 637-644
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/344627
Page Count: 8
Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Preview not available
Abstract In Epistemic Cultures (1999), Karin Knorr Cetina argues that different scientific fields exhibit different epistemic cultures. She claims that in high energy physics (HEP) individual persons are displaced as epistemic subjects in favor of experiments themselves. In molecular biology (MB), by contrast, individual persons remain the primary epistemic subjects. Using Ed Hutchins’ (1995) account of navigation aboard a traditional US Navy ship as a prototype, I argue that both HEP and MB exhibit forms of distributed cognition. That is, in both fields cognition is distributed across individual persons and complex artifacts. The cognitive system producing the knowledge is heterogeneous. Nevertheless, in both fields we can reserve epistemic agency for the human components of these systems. We do not need to postulate new distributed cognitive agents, let alone ones exhibiting new forms of consciousness.
Copyright 2002 by The Philosophy of Science Association. All rights reserved.