still posting for Andrew

From: Mike Cole (
Date: Wed Jun 30 2004 - 10:23:39 PDT

First, thanks a lot Professor Cole for helping me post and offering the
reading suggestion.

Second, to address your clarifying question... I was referring to Hirschfeld
and Nisbett's group at U of M that studies cognition and culture. At the LSE
I studied a lot about cognition and culture from this basically evolutionary
psychological perpsective, which differed slightly from a Maurice Bloch/Rita
Astuti "anthropology of learning and cognition" perspective.

In my doctoral studies at U of M I'll continue to explore this interest in
whether or not cultural psychology and the evolutionary perspective on
development are compatible. It remains to be seen how I'll fit this in to my
main project, however, which is looking into how computers and the net have
and will allow users to engage in new and possibly improved educative



Just a quick answer.
Your are packing a lot of different topics into this question, Andrew.
Hirschfeld does very different work than Nisbett et al. And the
Bloch and Astuti work, while well known perhaps at the LSE, is less
likely to be known to XMCA members (I know a little of it). Could
you provide some references on the latter.

Regarding the former. We have not, to my knowledge, ever discussed
the issue of cognitive styles and cultural variation on xmca. I
personally have difficulty with both the forms of experimentation
used in the work of Nisbett, Kitayama, et al, which treats culture
as shared very broadly (the West and Rest kind of characterization)
because I do not believe that culture is so uniformaly shared. Nor
do I believe that the experimental tests are as generalizable as
the authors would like us to believe. The question of mixing
core domain theory and essentialism (Hirschfeld) and cultural
variation is one that I believe bears some potentially useful
ways to think about the intertwining of natural and cultural
lines of development in Vygotsky.

I simply don't know the extent to which these issues are of
interest to xmca members. But by asking, you and I will find out!
-----Original Message-----
>From: Mike Cole []
Sent: Wednesday, June 30, 2004 11:59 AM
Subject: question for Andrew

Andrew-- I am not sure what you mean by the culture and cognition school.
Do you mean cross-cultural approaches to the study of culture and cognition?

A general article on this topic can be found at on the
publications page.

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