Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 8 (4):527-550 (2009)
The term “social cognition” can be construed in different ways. On the one hand, it can refer to the cognitive faculties involved in social activities, defined simply as situations where two or more individuals interact. On this view, social systems would consist of interactions between autonomous individuals; these interactions form higher-level autonomous domains not reducible to individual actions. A contrasting, alternative view is based on a much stronger theoretical definition of a truly social domain, which is always defined by a set of structural norms; moreover, these social structures are not only a set of constraints, but actually constitute the possibility of enacting worlds that would just not exist without them. This view emphasises the heteronomy of individuals who abide by norms that are impersonal, culturally inherited and to a large extent independent of the individuals. Human beings are socialised through and through; consequently, all human cognition is social cognition. The article argues for this second position. Finally, it appears that fully blown autonomy actually requires heteronomy. It is the acceptance of the constraints of social structures that enables individuals to enter new realms of common meaningfulness. The emergence of social life marks a crucial step in the evolution of cognition; so that at some evolutionary point human cognition cannot but be social cognition.
|Keywords||Social cognition Autonomy Heteronomy Normativity|
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References found in this work BETA
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Folk Psychological Narratives: The Sociocultural Basis of Understanding Reasons.Daniel D. Hutto - 2007 - Bradford.
A Unifying View of the Basis of Social Cognition.Vittorio Gallese, Christian Keysers & Giacomo Rizzolatti - 2004 - Trends in Cognitive Sciences 8 (9):396-403.
Participatory Sense-Making.Hanne De Jaegher & Ezequiel Di Paolo - 2007 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 6 (4):485-507.
Citations of this work BETA
Emotion and Ethics: An Inter-(En)Active Approach. [REVIEW]Giovanna Colombetti & Steve Torrance - 2009 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 8 (4):505-526.
Sociality and the Life–Mind Continuity Thesis.Tom Froese & Ezequiel A. Di Paolo - 2009 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 8 (4):439-463.
Mind Stuffed with Red Herrings: Why William James’ Critique of the Mind-Stuff Theory Does Not Substantiate a Combination Problem for Panpsychism. [REVIEW]Itay Shani - 2010 - Acta Analytica 25 (4):413-434.
The Delocalized Mind. Judgements, Vehicles, and Persons.Pierre Steiner - 2013 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 2013 (3):1-24.
Gestural Sense-Making: Hand Gestures as Intersubjective Linguistic Enactments. [REVIEW]Elena Cuffari - 2012 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 11 (4):599-622.
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