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p. 625. ‘They don’t think like we do’locked

  • Tim Bayne


Are the structures of thought fundamentally invariant across changes of cultural context, or is it true that ‘they’ do not think like ‘we’ do? Most psychologists consider human thought as universal across societies. Anthropologists are sympathetic to particularist conceptions of human thought. One obstacle to this debate is the lack of empirical evidence. Most studies on thought have been carried out on a particular demographic group, usually students willing to participate in studies. It is true that different societies have different conceptions of reality, such as in terms of religion, philosophy, and politics. Are these differences limited to ‘marginal’ aspects of reality, or do they also characterize ‘core’ features of thought?

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