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Psychology of ScienceImplicit and Explicit Processes$
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Robert W. Proctor and E.J. Capaldi

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199753628

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199753628.001.0001

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The Role of Psychology in an Agent-Centered Theory of Science

The Role of Psychology in an Agent-Centered Theory of Science

(p.73) 4 The Role of Psychology in an Agent-Centered Theory of Science
Psychology of Science

Ronald N. Giere

Oxford University Press

The question that frames this chapter is how humans have managed to learn such amazing things as the age of the universe. After briefly reviewing logical, methodological, historical, and social approaches to this question, the chapter focuses on contributions of the cognitive study of science. This leads to a comparison of the cognitive study of science and the psychology of science, which study how fundamental cognitive mechanisms operate in the context of generating scientific knowledge. There is, however, a second way humans use their psychological powers in the pursuit of knowledge, namely, by designing material and symbolic artifacts that greatly increase their cognitive powers. The resulting physical-computational-human systems have been incorporated into the cognitive sciences as “distributed cognitive systems.” The chapter proposes adoption of an agent-centered approach, in which ever more ubiquitous distributed cognitive systems can be fully cognitive without being fully computational.

Keywords:   cognitive study of science, psychology of science, cognitive mechanisms, scientific knowledge, material artifacts, symbolic artifacts, distributed cognitive systems

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