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, Volume 33, Issue 2, pp 459–475 | Cite as

Wired for Society: Cognizing Pathways to Society and Culture

  • Laurence KaufmannEmail author
  • Fabrice Clément
Article

Abstract

While cognitive scientists increase their tentative incursions in the social domains traditionally reserved for social scientists, most sociologists and anthropologists keep decrying those attempts as reductionist or, at least, irrelevant. In this paper, we argue that collaboration between social and cognitive sciences is necessary to understand the impact of the social environment on the shaping of our mind. More specifically, we dwell on the cognitive strategies and early-developing deontic expectations, termed naïve sociology, which enable well-adapted individuals to constitute, maintain and understand basic social relationships. In order to specify the way in which the demanding character of typical social relationships can be recognized in situ, we introduce the concept of “deontic affordances”. Finally, we shed light on the continuum that might relate a primitive naïve sociology, dedicated to the processing of invariant properties of the social life and a mature naïve sociology, necessary for dealing with the variable properties of cultural forms of life.

Keywords

Cognitive science Naïve sociology Deontic affordances Social relationships 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors are grateful to Hugo Mercier for his fruitful remarks on the manuscript. We also thank an anonymous reviewer for his/her very helpful suggestions and criticisms.

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratory of Sociology, Institute of Social SciencesUniversity of LausanneDorignySwitzerland
  2. 2.Cognitive Science CenterUniversity of NeuchâtelNeuchâtelSwitzerland

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