Luca Tummolini, Cristiano Castelfranchi

The embodiment of property: The problem of institutions between social cognitive sciences and cognitive social sciences

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: social institutions and social reality, ownership and property, social cognitive sciences, cognitive social sciences.

Cognitive science is an interdisciplinary approach to mind and behaviour that combines the theoretical frameworks and methodologies of psychology, neuroscience and computer science. Notwithstanding its important achievements, classical cognitive science has neglected, however, the role in cognition of the body, of the physical environment, and, last but not least, of sociality. While contemporary approaches have successfully explored the embodied and situated nature of the human mind, they have unfortunately carried over such individualistic view. This limitation is nowadays under revision. However, there is still insufficient attention to the importance of a quintessential human social ability: the capacity to act within social institutions and to collaborate in the construction of social reality. In this contribution, we address this problem by focusing on one core human institution: the institution of ownership and property. In particular, after a brief summary of our conventionalist theory of institutions, we suggest different ways in which an embodied and grounded approach to cognition might contribute to the understanding of this complex behavioural pattern. Bringing this problem to the attention of cognitive scientists will foster new opportunities for interdisciplinary research.

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