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Culture and folk Theory of Mind

IMC Tuesday Seminar: Talk by Renatas Berniūnas, Postdoc, Interacting Minds Centre, Aarhus University

Info about event


Tuesday 21 February 2023,  at 11:00 - 12:30


Jens Chr. Skous Vej 4, 8000 Aarhus C, building 1483, room 312 and online (https://aarhusuniversity.zoom.us/my/imcevent)

Renatas Berniūnas

In this talk, before going to my fieldwork to study “Minds in the wild: conceptualising and attributing the mental among Mongolians” (MSCA project), I want to address some conceptual issues pertaining to the notion of “mind” and to the Theory of Mind at large. As a cognitive anthropologist, I will evaluate the role of culture in understanding the folk concept and theory of mind. Often, culture has been dismissed or neglected in theorising and empirically studying ToM (or social cognition at large) in cognitive sciences and philosophy. Moreover, the English term “mind” has been employed to represent a universal category of human thought. However, there is little systematic non-English cross-cultural data about the very concept of the “mind” or how the mental sphere is categorised and organised. To illustrate some points, I will provide an example from Mongolia – the indigenous mental term “setgel” and its connection to the wider cultural context. 

About the speaker
Renatas Berniūnas
Postdoctoral researcher
Interacting Minds Centre, Aarhus University