Cultural differences and the law of noncontradiction: Some criteria for further research

Philosophical Psychology 17 (3):375 – 389 (2004)
Brian Huss
State University of New York at Potsdam
Recent psychological research on the connection between culture and thought could have dire consequences for the idea that there are objective standards of reasoning and that meaningful cross-cultural discussion is possible. The problems are particularly acute if research shows that the Law of Noncontradiction (LNC) is not a universal of folk epistemology. It is extremely difficult to provide a non-circular justification for the LNC, and yet the LNC seems to act as a basic standard for reasoning in the West. If non-Western cultures do not believe the LNC holds, then meaningful cross-cultural discussion and debate will be very difficult, to say the least. In this paper it is argued that the distinction between belief and acceptance is important in analyzing cross-cultural studies on the way people reason. Studies conducted by Richard Nisbett and Kaiping Peng concerning differences between East Asians and Westerners are analyzed. The distinction between belief and acceptance is used to demonstrate that the empirical data currently available fail to show that the LNC is not a universal of folk epistemology. A brief proposal for further research is presented.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1080/0951508042000286730
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 36,649
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles


Added to PP index

Total downloads
60 ( #110,378 of 2,304,253 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
3 ( #202,762 of 2,304,253 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature