Percepts and Concepts Across Cultures

AbstractThe cognitive sciences have been in a long-standing dispute—is perception uniform and universal (Fodor, 1983; Firestone & Scholl, 2016), or could our beliefs, thoughts, and experiences affect our percepts (Bruner, Goodnow, & Austin, 1956; Goldstone, de Leeuw, & Landy, 2015)? Laboratory-based experiments have shed crucial light on when and how perception and conception interact, but the diversity of human cultures worldwide provides a different type of insight into the nature of mind—“a natural laboratory of variation” (Evans & Levinson, 2009: 432) which can be exploited to test how similar or different aspects of perception and conception are in their varied ecological niches.

Return to previous page