Center for Interdisziplinary Research

ZiF Research Group

The Cultural Constitution of Causal Cognition

Events of the Research Group

October 13 - 14, 2011

Opening Conference
The Cultural Constitution of Causal Cognition:
Setting the Stage for a Cross-Disciplinary Endeavour

Andrea Bender (Freiburg), Sieghard Beller (Freiburg)

The opening conference brought together scholars from different fields of the cognitive sciences in order to explore the interplay between culture and causal cognition. While different sciences investigate these topics respectively and in combination, the conference aimed at integrating the different approaches to develop a more complex (and complete) perspective on “The Cultural Constitution of Causal Cognition”.
Final Report
December 12 - 13, 2011

Magic and Medicine:
Conceptions of Causality in Processes of Healing

York Hagmayer (London), Hans Markowitsch (Bielefeld) and
Thomas Widlok (Nijmegen)

This workshop focused on causal concepts in illness and health. Researchers from psychology, philosophy, health sciences and anthropology investigated how lay people and experts explain illness, conceptualize healing and select interventions.
Final Report
March 21 - 23, 2012

Agents and Causes:
Interdisciplinary Aspects in Mind, Language and Culture

Albert Newen (Bochum), Anne Springer (Potsdam), Christopher Topp (Bochum) and Markus Werning (Bochum)

The central question of the workshop was what it means for an agent to be the cause of an action: What is the metaphysics of the agent role in causation? How is this role mentally represented? What are the linguistic structures that express the agent role and how do they vary across languages? What can go wrong in representing the agent role, e.g., in psychiatric disorders? These questions were discussed by Scientists from different disciplines, ranging from Philosophy, to Psychology, Linguistics and Anthropology.
Final Report
May 18 - 19 2012

How Universal is Causal Cognition?
Michael Waldmann (Göttingen), York Hagmayer (King's College),
Andrea Bender (Freiburg) and Sieghard Beller (Freiburg)

Causal cognition is a fundamental cornerstone for understanding, explanation and prediction. But how much of this is universal (probably innate), and how much is culturally shaped and shared? In this workshop, scholars from cognitive psychology, developmental psychology and anthropology reported on state-of-the-art research on causal cognition and discussed possible "entry points" for culture.
Final Report
June 21 - 22, 2012

Methods Workshop:
Cultural Consensus Analysis: Theory, Method and Applications

John B. Gatewood (Lehigh University)

This workshop focused on the kinds of systematic data collections commonly used by cognitive anthropologists to study individuals’ knowledge of cultural domains and the analyses appropriate to these different kinds of data. Analyses covered multi-dimensional scaling, hierarchical cluster analysis, and especially cultural consensus analysis. The goal was for participants to learn why and how to do these data collections and how to analyze the data obtained using ANTHROPAC 4.983X.
Final Report
April 11 - 12, 2013

Final Conference
Exploring the Cultural Constitution of (Causal) Cognition:
Theoretical Foundations and Empirical Approaches

Sieghard Beller (Paderborn), Andrea Bender (Freiburg), and Anita Schroven (ZiF)

As the final conference of the research group on “The Cultural Constitution of Causal Cognition”, these two days bring together cognitive scientists from the fields of psychology, anthropology, linguistics and philosophy to explore the links between culture and cognition and to address empirical approaches in their study.

You can find the final report in the ZiF-Mitteilungen.
Martin Hubert reported about the conference on Deutschlandradio.

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