culture and the mind: Folk Psychology, Folk Epistemology, and Cultural Transmission

11th-13th September 2009


About the Conference

This interdisciplinary conference is the first of three conference associated with the AHRC Culture and the Mind project. The conference brings together a range of leading scholars working on cross cultural aspects of our ordinary everyday ability to understand one another in terms of minds and mental states, our everday practices of epistemic justification, and our capacities for cultural transmission.




Tara Callaghan (Psychology, St. Francis Xavier University)

Early social cognition in three cultural contexts Abstract

Michael Chandler (Psychology, University of British Columbia)

Surviving Time: Suicide & the persistence of individual and group identities in the face of radical cultural & developmental change: Searching for essentialism where the Enlightenment is brightest Abstract

Gy├Ârgy Gergely (Psychology, Central European University)

Why imitation is not rational: The role of rationality, resonance, and relevance in imitative learning Abstract

Tamsin German (Psychology, University of California, Santa Barbara)

Domain specific mechanisms in theory of mind: Just how dedicated are they? Abstract

Barry Hewlett (Anthropology, Washington State University)

Folk psychology and epistemology of human responses to high mortality epidemics (Ebola) and infant care among hunter-gatherers Abstract

David Lancy (Anthropology, Utah State University)

Pedagogy Without Teaching Abstract

Douglas Medin (Psychology, Northwestern University)

Cultural Processes and Psychological Distance Abstract

Jennie Pyers (Psychology, Wellesley University)

Interactions between language and theory of mind: Evidence from learners of an emerging sign language in Nicaragua Abstract

Ayse Uskul (Psychology, Essex University)

Eco-cultural basis of cognition: Evidence from farmers, herders, and fishermen in the Black Sea Region of Turkey Abstract


The conference will take place at the Humanities Research Institute (34 Gell Street, Sheffield S3 7QW) at the University of Sheffield (see map — opens in a new window).

This conference is jointly sponsored by the UK Arts & Humanties Research Council, the Hang Seng Centre for Cognitive Studies (directed by Stephen Laurence), and the Rutgers University Research Group on Evolution and Higher Cognition (directed by Prof. Stephen Stich).