Cognitive artifacts on various time scales: An integrative approach
This project is funded by the National Science Centre, Poland (Opus 22, 2021/43/B/HS1/02868, 2022–2025, PI: Mateusz Hohol)
Some artifacts could be called “cognitive” since they perform a representational function and facilitate or even extend human cognition. We aid ourselves by relying on many external resources. We use maps to navigate in the environment, mathematical symbols to calculate, and diagrams to make inferences. Even though a multitude of cognitive artifacts has been extensively studied by representatives of various subdisciplines of cognitive science, there persists a lack of integrative account of investigating cognitive artifacts on various time scales: proximal “here and now,” developmental, historical, and evolutionary. This project aims at filling this gap by using a new mechanistic framework. Achieving this main goal requires further developing a mechanistic continuous intertemporal integration model, extending the notion of a representational-computational mechanism to include external representations and precise analysis of spatial and temporal dimensions (i.e., component parts and operations) of “wide” cognitive systems comprising human beings and artifacts. Against this background, some classical themes of cognitive artifacts, as their taxonomy, will also be revisited with particular emphasis on the dynamical aspect of using artifacts. The project is situated at the intersection of cognitive science, psychology, philosophy, and cognitive history and is implemented in collaboration with researchers from the University of California San Diego and the New University of Lisbon.