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A hallmark of human social life is its variability across cultures and history. One constant, however, is the importance of group membership in reasoning about the behavior of others. The acquisition of group-based reasoning has typically been viewed as a problem in social learning, in which the same cognitive processes are used that support reasoning across any number of domains regardless of content. Here I argue that emphasis on domain-general learning and cultural variability obscures the crucial role that domain-specific processes play in securing and sustaining human social life and its cultural variability. The hypothesis is explored by reviewing evidence in favor of an evolved modular competence for folksociology that governs the development of group-based reasoning and is crucial to understanding both pancultural constancy and cultural variability.
Pour citer cet article :Hirschfeld Lawrence A. (2007/2-3). Folksociology and the Cognitive Foundations of Culture. In Clément Fabrice & Kaufmann Laurence (Eds), Culture and Society : Some Viewpoints of Cognitive Scientists, Intellectica, 46-47, (pp.191-206), DOI: 10.3406/intel.2007.1284.