Dmitrii Sharikov 1
  • 1 National Research University Higher School of Economics, 20 Myasnitskaya Str., Moscow, 101000, Russian Federation

Naturalizing Culture: Cognitivism vs. Pragmatism

2022, vol. 21, No. 1, pp. 153–179 [issue contents]
This paper focuses on the integrative models of culture and cultural phenomena developed at the intersection of the cognitive and social sciences. It is argued that the leading research program of “cultural neuroscience” rests on the erroneous presuppositions with regard to the nature of cultural phenomena. Two alternative theoretical strategies are subsequently proposed for consideration. The first builds on the traditional computational approach in the philosophy of mind and cognitive sciences. According to this strategy, culture consists of information units as mental and public representations that are disseminated and transformed in the process of communication. The second strategy builds on a family of competing cognitivist approaches, namely the “4E” approaches. It asserts that culture is best explained in terms of individuals interacting in the shared material environment. The paper argues that the first strategy faces a number of substantial problems. It is claimed that the notions of information and mental content employed within this approach are scientifically questionable. In addition, it is maintained that the second strategy, although less conceptually mature and elaborate, does not face the same kinds of problems as the first one. In the concluding paragraph, the advantages and disadvantages of both theoretical strategies are, once again, weighed up.
Citation: Sharikov D. (2022) Naturalizatsiya kul'tury: kognitivizm protiv pragmatizma [Naturalizing Culture: Cognitivism vs. Pragmatism]. The Russian Sociological Review, vol. 21, no 1, pp. 153-179 (in Russian)
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