Mind & Society

, Volume 6, Issue 2, pp 211–224 | Cite as

Can tacit knowledge fit into a computer model of scientific cognitive processes? The case of biotechnology

Original Article


This paper tries to express a critical point of view on the computational turn in philosophy by looking at a specific field of study: philosophy of science. The paper starts by briefly discussing the main contributions that information and communication technologies have given to the rising of computational philosophy of science, and in particular to the cognitive modelling approach. The main question then arises, concerning how computational models can cope with the presence of tacit knowledge in science. Would it be possible to develop new ways of handling this specific type of knowledge, in order to incorporate it in computational models of scientific thinking? Or should tacit knowledge lead us to other approaches in using computer sciences to model scientific cognition? These questions are addressed by making reference to a detailed case study of a recent innovation development in the field of biotechnology.


Biotechnology Cognitive modelling Tacit knowledge Scientific discovery 



This article is a revised version of the paper presented at the Second European Conference Computing and Philosophy (E-CAP2004), held at the University of Pavia, Italy (June 3–5, 2004) and chaired by Lorenzo Magnani.


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Copyright information

© Fondazione Rosselli 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Sociology and Social ResearchUniversity of Milan – BicoccaMilanItaly

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