Distributed cognitive agency in virtue epistemology

Michael David Kirchhoff, Will Newsome

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


We examine some of the ramifications of extended cognition for virtue epistemology by exploring the idea within extended cognition that it is possible to decentralize cognitive agency such that cognitive agency includes socio-cultural practices. In doing so, we first explore the (seemingly unquestioned) assumption in both virtue epistemology and extended cognition that cognitive agency is an individualistic phenomenon. A distributed notion of cognitive agency alters the landscape of knowledge attribution in virtue epistemology. We conclude by offering a pragmatic notion of cognitive agency, where the situation sets the benchmarks for whether cognitive agency is individualistic or socio-culturally distributed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)165-180
Number of pages16
JournalPhilosophical Explorations
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • cognitive agency
  • cognitive assembly
  • epistemic credit
  • extended cognition
  • knowledge attribution
  • virtue epistemology


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