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Re: [xmca] Culture & Rationality


What I meant by this - unclearly said, for sure, but I'm trying to work all this out myself, I don't have a hidden agenda - was that we already have lots of studies that claim to show that people in non-western cultures employ kinds of rationality that differ from 'ours' - but always that they are 'weaker' rationalities.

On the other hand we have more recent studies that (to generalize wildly) claim to demonstrate that 'in fact' these people from other cultures are using the 'same' logic that we do. To pick one example, I believe that this is what Ed Hutchins did in his study of a Trobriand legal dispute... 

Hutchins, E. (1980). Culture and inference: A Trobriand case study (Vol. 2). Harvard Univ Press.

.. but I've not yet read the whole book.

What we don't seem to have (much) are studies that show a different rationality that is not weaker. Perhaps the Bates & Bates article I cited a day or so is one of the few.

Does this help? What's your take on this tricky topic?


On Jun 29, 2012, at 10:53 AM, Huw Lloyd wrote:

> How about "demonstrably weaker"?  Do you mean expressively more powerful,
> such as Bakhtin's assertion that the novel is more expressive than earlier
> forms of writing, or has better survival value, or something else?

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