from month 05/2009

Truth among the…

(Ten year ago or so, Maurice Bloch and I started discussing a basic issue in folk-epistemic, the variety of notions of truth across cultures, and we ran several workshops in Paris with psychologists, historians, and anthropologists on the theme. I would like to revive the discussion, maybe in the ...

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Is the left hemisphere more Whorfian than the right one?

In the May 19, 2009 issue of PNAS, an article by Wai Ting Siok, Paul Kay, William S. Y. Wang, Alice H. D. Chana, Lin Chen, Kang-Kwong Luk and Li Hai Tan shows that "Language regions of brain are operative in color perception" (article freely available here). It is nice to ...

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Cultural Attraction among birds

If we could rewind the tape of cultural history and play it again, would it look like it does today ? Well, this is exactly what Olga Feher and collaborators at the Ofer Tchernichovski lab have tried to find out about zebra finches songs. Their Nature article shows the results of two ingenious ...

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Lectureship at Goldsmiths College, London

The Department of Psychology at Goldsmiths College, London, a thriving centre of research and teaching with around 450 undergraduates, 100 postgraduates and 30 staff, is seeking an excellent researcher and teacher whose work will complement ongoing research within one of its 6 research ...

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The Art Instinct : Denis Dutton replies to Roberto Casati

(Editor's note) Denis Dutton is kind enough to reply at length to Roberto Casati's skeptical review of his book, The Art Instinct. The review has sparked a heated debate between Duttonites and Casatites on this blog.   Like most authors, I appreciate any thoughtful analysis of my ...

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Cumulative culture in the lab and chimpanzees

At the recent EHBEA conference held April 6-8 at Saint Andrews, I saw presentations by both Andrew Whiten (a primatologist who specializes on nonhuman cultural traditions, especially in chimpanzees) and Christine Caldwell (who examines cumulative cultural evolution in the lab). It was interest...

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“Mind and Culture”: Rutgers / Siena Workshop in Siena

The Ph.D. Course in Cognitive Sciences of Siena University and the Rutgers University Center for Cognitive Sciences (RUCCS) organize the Joint Workshop Rutgers-Siena "Mind and Culture". The workshop will be held at the Certosa di Pontignano (Siena) on June 1-2, 2009 and will provide the ...

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The interpretive process

This is the third installment of a series of posts on a cognitive approach to interpretive traditions (Part One - Part Two). One of the things people do with texts is read them. This is certainly not the only thing people do with texts, nor, I would argue, is it the primary thing people do with ...

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Cross-cultural variation in creationism

There is substantial cultural variation in the prevalence of creationism, i.e., the view that the Bible (or other religious writings) provides a historically accurate account of how living things came into being. In some countries, like Iceland or Japan, the view that species arose through a ...

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