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Social Mind Area-Scholarships for Interdisciplinary Doctoral Studies at Central European University (CEU) 2016/2017

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Published on 6 February 2016 at 12:15
Call for Applications: CEU is now accepting applications for two specialized interdisciplinary PhD fellowships in the area of the “Social Mind”, one of the four university-wide intellectual themes identified as its new focal directions....

Social Cognition: From Interactions to Intersubjectivity

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Published on 5 February 2016 at 10:59
Call for Applications: An Interdisciplinary Summer School June 26th –July 2nd  2016, Hotel Apollo, Aegina, Greece...

Understanding Communication and Understanding Minds: The Role of Metarepresentations

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Published on 2 February 2016 at 11:55
The CEU Summer University announces the course "Understanding Communication and Understanding Minds: The Role of Metarepresentations", which will take place in Budapest, Hungary, from June 27 to July 2....

'When and How does Cumulative Culture Emerge?' A conference in Birmingham

News: Events
Published on 30 January 2016 at 11:11
An exciting conference will be held in Birmingham on June 9-10, on the topic of cumulative culture. More information at culture-conference.com. ...

The scope and flavours of cultural attraction theory

'The Origins of Monsters' Book Club
Published on 29 January 2016 at 18:34
Empirical tests of theories of cultural evolution are (relatively) rare. Those using rigorous archeological datasets, even rarer. These reasons alone suffice to make The Origins of Monsters a must-read for anyone interested in exploring the interface between cognition, societal infrastructures, and the spread (and design) of cultural items....

The tale of the three-headed snail

Written by Olivier Morin
'The Origins of Monsters' Book Club
Published on 28 January 2016 at 10:37
David Wengrow opens his fascinating book with a conjecture that he attributes to cultural epidemiologists (not without good reasons): composite animals are “minimally counter-intuitive” and thus, some monsters enjoy a supplement of cultural success by virtue of being composites (and not because they are, say, big animals, or predators). By the last pages of The Origins of Monsters, though, this hypothesis is all but jettisoned....

Can cultural epidemiology explain the cultural evolution of monsters?

'The Origins of Monsters' Book Club
Published on 26 January 2016 at 22:50
I would like to thank the ICCI team for inviting me to take part in the symposium about David Wengrow’s book The Origins of Monsters (hereafter referred to as TOM), which I read with great pleasure. This book deals with a fascinating topic and, despite its modest size, the scope of archeological and historical records it examines is impressive....

An important contribution – but not an amendment – to cultural epidemiology

'The Origins of Monsters' Book Club
Published on 25 January 2016 at 19:51
In his excellent book, Wengrow argues that animal composites spread because of both cognitive and social-historical factors. The cognitive factors include human preferences for minimally counterintuitive images, and the way in which these composite images are especially well fit to the mode of perception of the world as made of divisible, recombinable parts (rather than unique totalities) fostered by the state-like systems of organisation....

Your very own monster creation kit

'The Origins of Monsters' Book Club
Published on 22 January 2016 at 11:42
In The Origins of Monsters, David Wengrow tackles a very interesting historical phenomenon: a sudden surge in images of fantastic animals accompanies the rise of urban life in Mesopotamia. In contrast, such images are excessively rare in pre-urban, prehistoric art. Wengrow contends that the reasons behind this phenomenon are cognitive, socio-economical, institutional, and to some degree technological....

The Stamped, Sealed and Delivered Riddle of the Sphinx

'The Origins of Monsters' Book Club
Published on 20 January 2016 at 19:36
In the perspective of a deep media history, one of the most exciting points in David Wengrow's great book about the genealogy of composite monsters is the evidence of a link between mechanical reproduction, long chains of external trade, and what has recently been called "certification" by the scholar of modern standards and food chains, Lawrence Busch (in a book called "Standards", 2011)....
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