Module Details for the Academic Year 2018/2019

PHIL40960 The Cultural Mind

This course will look at recent research on the interdependence between culture and mind. Two aspects of culture that the course will particularly focus on are language and moral norms. One of the broad themes that we will explore is relativity. So called ‘linguistic relativity’ is the view that (a) languages affect our thinking as well as our experiences of the world and (b) vastly different languages will give rise to very different, possibly incommensurable, ways of thinking about the world. We will look at recent empirical evidence for this view, and its philosophical implications. We will also look at empirical evidence for and philosophical discussion of variance in moral norms across different cultures. An opposing thought is that language or moral norms are to some extent universal. We’ll examine empirical evidence that bears on and philosophical discussion of this hypothesis.

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At the end of this course students will have an informed view of the impact of cultural variables on core mental activities. In addition, they will acquire the skills of writing academic papers suitable for presentation at graduate conferences.  
Item Workload


Autonomous Student Learning


Online Learning




Description % of Final Grade Timing
Essay: < Description >


Coursework (End of Semester)
Presentation: < Description >


Varies over the Semester
Seminar: < Description >


Week 12


This module is not passable by compensation

Resit Opportunities

In-semester assessment


No remediation

Module Requisites and Incompatibles

Equivalent Modules

Prior Learning

Curricular information is subject to change