Distributed cognition in Medieval and Renaissance studies

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Abstract / Description of output

The purpose of this chapter is to provide a background to current research in medieval and Renaissance studies on topics related to distributed cognition and to consider how the various chapters in this volume represent, reflect and advance work in this area. The volume brings together 14 chapters by international specialists working in the period between the ninth and the seventeenth century in the fields of law, history, drama, literature, art, music, philosophy, science and medicine. The chapters revitalise our reading of medieval and Renaissance works by bringing to bear recent insights in cognitive science and philosophy of mind on the distributed nature of cognition. A distributed cognitive approach recognises that cognition is brain, body and world based. Distributed cognition is a methodological approach and a way of understanding the actual nature of cognition. Together the chapters make evident the ways in which particular notions and practices of distributed cognition emerged from the particular range of sociocultural and technological contexts that existed during this period. This chapter attempts to put these contributions in their wider research context by examining how such topics have been approached by mainstream scholarship, earlier work in the cognitive sciences and by existing applications of distributed cognition theory. Throughout this chapter, I reference the chapters in this volume that provide further information on topics covered or take forward the issues in question. In the concluding section, I turn to a fuller overview of the chapters themselves
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDistributed Cognition in Medieval and Renaissance Culture
EditorsMiranda Anderson, Michael Wheeler
Place of PublicationEdinburgh
PublisherEdinburgh University Press
Number of pages26
ISBN (Electronic)9781474438162 , 9781474438155
ISBN (Print)9781474438131
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jun 2019

Publication series

NameThe Edinburgh History of Distributed Cognition Series
PublisherEdinburgh University Press

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • distributed cognition
  • extended cognition
  • enactivism
  • embodied cognition
  • Medieval
  • Renaissance
  • cognitive humanities
  • literature
  • history
  • history of ideas
  • philosophy
  • culture


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