from month 06/2011

Mèng Zǐ (372 – 289 BCE) on the moral organ

This post is part of a series on the 'history of social sciences'. Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday   So far, in this mini-series on the (possibility of a) history of social sciences, I have only discussed the work of a philosopher that is relatively close ...

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Adam Smith (1723-1790) on mirror neurons and empathy

This post is part of a series on the 'history of human sciences'. Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday   OK, I admit. Adam Smith never talked about mirror neurons. So why am I bringing this topic up? Because Smith actually did, in a way, tackle the debate about ...

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Smith (1723-1790) on innateness and cultural variability

  This post is part of a series on the 'history of social sciences'. Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday One of the debates that haunts the social sciences is the debate about what is innate and what is acquired, what is universal and what is variable, or what ...

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Adam Smith (1723-1790) on ultimate and proximate causes in psychology

This post is part of a series on the 'history of social sciences'. Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday   Darwin's theory of evolution allows us to draw a distinction between ultimate causes—the evolutionary pressures that led to the selection of a ...

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Adam Smith (1723 – 1790) on intuitive and reflective processes

This post is part of a series on the 'history of social sciences'. Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Yesterday, I suggested that there was a history of social sciences to be told. A history that would talk about the problems scientists faced and about their solutions. ...

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History of social sciences week!

I’m a big fan of books on the history of science. I like to find out about the whole story: how things got started in Ancient Greece with people disputing traditional views, how it continued during the Renaissance with scientists starting to test their theories experimentally, and on into the ...

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Fast lemons and intuitive beliefs

Is a lemon fast or slow? Which one is brighter: the sound of a violin or the sound of a trombone? Got the answer? Without any apparent reason, you believe that lemons are fast and violins sound brighter than trombones. These beliefs happen to be shared by most humans, from an early age and ...

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Judgments and decisions based on attempts to disambiguate the given information

Eric Igou Judgments and decisions based on attempts to disambiguate the given information: Effects of decision frames, non-diagnostic information, and information order (you can find the paper here) The author presents evidence for the impact of conversational rules (Grice, 1975) on judgment ...

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Offensive inanity in the name of evolutionary psychology

Satoshi Kanazawa has caused a scandal by publishing a blog post (later withdrawn) claiming, with specious evidence, that black women were less attractive than others (and black men were more attractive). His Psychology Today blog has just been closed down. Readers of the hell-raising post will ...

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