The Cultural Mind (PHIL40960)
Credits 10 Subject Philosophy
Level 4 School Philosophy
Semester   Information Semester Two Module Coordinator Professor Maria Baghramian

This course focuses on current research on the interdependence between language, culturally mediated conceptual schemes and the human mind. Using empirical evidence. as well as philosophical analysis, we examine the impact of language and culure on perception, thought and judgement and ask if recent empirical studies have made cultural relativism intellectually respectable.
We will explore and attempt to respond to two sets of distinct but interconnected questions
1. How to interpret radically alien languages (cultures, modes of thought)?
2. Could there be (are there) languages or forms of thought that are beyond the possibility of translation/interpretation?
ugages will give rise to very different, possibly incommensurable, ways of thinking abou the world.
This course explores and attempts to respond to two sets of distinct but interconnected questions
1. How to interpret radically alien languages (cultures, modes of thought)?
2. Could there be (are there) languages or forms of thought that are beyond the possibility of translation/interpretation?

We will investigate question 1 by looking at a number of theories of interpretation that discuss the preconditions of translating/interpreting languages totally unknown to us from scratch (the so called “method of radical translation”).

Questions 2. will be answered by looking at the empirical evidence for and against as well as philosophical discussions of so-called ‘linguistic relativity’, or 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.







Curricular information is subject to change