Conference: Folk psychology and folk epistemology, and cultural transmission

About the conference

This interdisciplinary conference was the first of three associated with the AHRC Culture and the Mind project. The conference brought 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 everyday practices of epistemic justification, and our capacities for cultural transmission.

The took place at the Humanities Research Institute: 34 Gell Street, Sheffield S3 7QW, at the University of Sheffield.


View poster (PDF, 139KB)


Read the abstracts

Tara Callaghan (Psychology, St Francis Xavier University)
Early social cognition in three cultural contexts

Michael Chandler (Psychology, University of British Columbia)
Surviving time: Suicide and the persistence of individual and group identities in the face of radical cultural and developmental change. Searching for essentialism where the enlightenment is brightest.

György Gergely (Psychology, Central European University)
Why imitation is not rational: The role of rationality, resonance, and relevance in imitative learning

Tamsin German (Psychology, University of California, Santa Barbara)
Domain specific mechanisms in theory of mind: Just how dedicated are they?

Barry Hewlett (Anthropology, Washington State University)
Folk psychology and epistemology of human responses to high mortality epidemics (Ebola) and infant care among hunter-gatherers

David Lancy (Anthropology, Utah State University)
Pedagogy without teaching

Douglas Medin (Psychology, Northwestern University)
Cultural processes and psychological distance

Jennie Pyers (Psychology, Wellesley University)
Interactions between language and theory of mind: Evidence from learners of an emerging sign language in Nicaragua

Ayse Uskul (Psychology, Essex University)
Eco-cultural basis of cognition: Evidence from farmers, herders, and fishermen in the Black Sea region of Turkey


This conference was 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 Professor Stephen Stich).


Suilin Lavelle

Culture and the Mind Conference
Hang Seng Centre for Cognitive Studies
Humanities Research Institute
University of Sheffield
34 Gell Street
S3 7QW
United Kingdom