from month 07/2010

Evolved dispositions and cultural norms. A discussion in Science

In March, Science published a research article by Joe Henrich et al. ("Market, Religion, Community Size and the Evolution of Fairness and Punishment") showing that market integration and participation in world religion covary with fairness (an article that Nicolas Baumard discussed here). ...

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What if there had never been a Cognitive Revolution?

In a previous post, I questioned the relevance of the label “Cognition and Culture” for our institute. Why not ‘Cognition and Society’ instead? Choosing ‘culture’ over ‘society’, I argued, is not arbitrary and implicate that some questions (religion, ...

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Moral camouflage or moral monkeys?

An interesting short essay by Peter Railton on the authenticity of morality from an evolutionary point of view available here and open to discussion here with already some interesting contributions e.g. by Bill Benzon, Frans de Waal or Sally Haslanger. Railton argues: "A picture thus ...

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Paul the Octopus, relevance and the joy of superstition

So, as you all know, Spain beat the Netherlands and won the World Football Cup in Johannesburg on July 11, 2010. As most of you may also know, this victory was predicted by a German octopus named Paul. Paul was presented before the match with two transparent boxes each baited with mussel flesh and ...

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Opacity tasting with Dan and Maurice

A few weeks ago, Maurice Bloch, Dan Sperber and several others had a debate on the nature of those beliefs (in particular 'religious' beliefs) that cannot easily be made fully explicit, or brought to bear on concrete matters (so-called 'semi-propositional beliefs' - here called ...

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