Cognitive Dimensions of Social Science

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Oxford University Press, USA, Aug 16, 2001 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 192 pages
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What will be the future of social science? Where exactly do we stand, and where do we go from here? What kinds of problems should we be addressing, with what kinds of approaches and arguments? In Cognitive Dimensions of Social Science, Mark Turner offers an answer to these pressing questions: social science is headed toward convergence with cognitive science. Together they will give us a new and better approach to the study of what human beings are, what human beings do, what kind of mind they have, and how that mind developed over the history of the species. Turner, one of the originators of the cognitive scientific theory of conceptual integration, here explores how the application of that theory enriches the social scientific study of meaning, culture, identity, reason, choice, judgment, decision, innovation, and invention. About fifty thousand years ago, humans made a spectacular advance: they became cognitively modern. This development made possible the invention of the vast range of knowledge, practices, and institutions that social scientists try to explain. For Turner, the anchor of all social science - anthropology, political science, sociology, economics - must be the study of the cognitively modern human mind. In this book, Turner moves the study of those extraordinary mental powers to the center of social scientific research and analysis.

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Contents

Deep Play
3
Reason
60
Choice
85
Analogy
119
Descent of Meaning
137
Cognitive Social Science
152
Copyright

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Page 134 - The experts concluded that if the community were to be healthy, if it were not to revert again to a blighted or slum area, as though possessed of a congenital disease, the area must be planned as a whole.
Page 59 - Believing, with Max Weber, that man is an animal suspended in webs of significance he himself has spun, I take culture to be those webs, and the analysis of it to be therefore not an experimental science in search of law but an interpretive one in search of meaning.
Page 130 - Afresh, with conscious terrors vex me round, That rest or intermission none I find. Before mine eyes in opposition sits Grim Death, my son and foe; who sets them on...
Page 32 - And as prestige, the necessity to affirm it, defend it, celebrate it, justify it, and just plain bask in it (but not, given the strongly ascriptive character of Balinese stratification, to seek it), is perhaps the central driving force in the society, so also — ambulant penises, blood sacrifices, and monetary exchanges aside — is it of the cockfight. This apparent amusement and seeming sport is, to take another phrase from Erving Goffman, "a status...
Page 53 - In a ritual, the world as lived and the world as imagined, fused under the agency of a single set of symbolic forms, turn out to be the same world, producing thus that idiosyncratic transformation in one's sense of reality to which Santayana refers in my epigraph.
Page 38 - By it he means play in which the stakes are so high that it is, from his utilitarian standpoint, irrational for men to engage in it at all. If a man whose fortune is a thousand pounds (or ringgits...
Page 29 - ... that it will not get a return blow, for if he does not the match is likely to end in a mutually mortal tie as the two birds wildly hack each other to pieces. This is particularly true if, as often happens, the spur sticks in its victim's body, for then the aggressor is at the mercy of his wounded foe. With the birds again in the hands of their handlers, the coconut is now sunk three times after which the cock which has landed the blow must be set down to show that he is firm, a fact he demonstrates...
Page 38 - If a man whose fortune is a thousand pounds (or ringgits) wages five hundred of it on an even bet, the marginal utility of the pound he stands to win is clearly less than the marginal disutility of the one he stands to lose. In genuine deep play, this is the case for both parties. They are both in over their heads. Having come together in search of pleasure they have entered into a relationship which will bring the participants, considered collectively, net pain rather than net pleasure. Bentham's...
Page 45 - In the cockfight, man and beast, good and evil, ego and id, the creative power of aroused masculinity and the destructive power of loosened animality fuse in a bloody drama of hatred, cruelty, violence, and death.

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