How Culture Comes to Mind: From Social Affordances to Cultural Analogies

Kaufmann Laurence
Clément Fabrice
Language of the article : English
DOI: 10.3406/intel.2007.1286
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Until now, the naturalist attempts to account for cultural phenomena have tended to see them as representations that spread within the population thanks to the counterintuitive properties making them salient and easy to remember. As a supplement to this view, which postulates a kind of cognitive distance between individuals and culture, this paper proposes a naturalist model that takes into consideration the strong cognitive involvement and the participative rather than contemplative stance triggered by a good many cultural phenomena. Such a model tries to defend a «continuist view» of the link between nature and culture by calling partially into question the traditional emphasis of social sciences on the artificial, arbitrary dimension of social facts. For the authors, indeed, this emphasis does not account for the naturality and universality of a certain number of elementary social forms. Once the partial naturality of the social is asserted, the purpose is to describe the emergence of cultural phenomena. The hypothesis put forward here is that analogical capacities, also natural, which allow human minds to «draw» cultural forms from the world of nature, either physical or social, play a central role in the elaboration of a sphere of collective experience that is both cultural and intuitive.

Pour citer cet article :

Kaufmann Laurence, Clément Fabrice (2007/2-3). How Culture Comes to Mind: From Social Affordances to Cultural Analogies. In Clément Fabrice & Kaufmann Laurence (Eds), Culture and Society : Some Viewpoints of Cognitive Scientists, Intellectica, 46-47, (pp.221-250), DOI: 10.3406/intel.2007.1286.