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dc.contributor.advisorScheppele, Kim L.
dc.contributor.authorLamothe, Herrissa Deborah
dc.contributor.otherSociology Department
dc.description.abstractThis dissertation advances a theory of reference, and a theory of “group” cognition, regarding how the mind makes references to the world. It also articulates a concept learning mechanism for how the mind acquires conceptual representations that are “dual-factor” – that is, involve both meaning and reference. Both these theories of reference and of group cognition, and this articulation of a concept learning mechanism, are based on a reading of American pragmatist, Charles Sanders Peirce, as offering a theory of specialized cognition. This reading of Peirce on cognition maintains that we have two specialized cognitive faculties that collaborate in the elaboration of conceptual knowledge. I argue that while the first of these two specialized faculties corresponds to a contemporary literature in the cognitive sciences on “core” cognition, the latter is in keeping with work in the sociology of cognition on distributional, or topological, representations. The theory of reference that I advance, takes a Peircean specialized cognition reading of French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu’s work on the bodily unitary system of dispositions called the “habitus”. Such a Peircean-Bourdieusian theory of reference, I argue, addresses core concerns in the philosophy of mind and language. Moreover, I make the case that this theory of reference doubles up as the description of a specialized cognitive learning mechanism embedded in a theory of “group” cognition (a cognitive theory of reference), that is distinct from (but integrated with) a theory of “core” cognition (a cognitive theory of meaning). I show that such a cognitive theory of “group” cognition acts as a second arm in the elaboration of a domain-general concept learning mechanism that offers an alternative to Quinian Bootstrapping– a domain-general learning mechanism in the contemporary cognitive sciences literature also drawing inspiration from pragmatism. I argue that my “Peircean Synthesis” concept learning mechanism addresses a potential weakness of Quinian Bootstrapping in its treatment of “wide” content, or reference. In this way, I make the case that Peircean Synthesis, and a Peircean specialized view of cognition, offer a bridge between the sociology of cognition and the cognitive sciences that stands to fundamentally change the relationship between the two disciplines.
dc.publisherPrinceton, NJ : Princeton University
dc.subjectCharles Sanders Peirce
dc.subjectCore Cognition
dc.subjectGroup Cognition
dc.subjectPierre Bourdieu
dc.subjectTheory Theory
dc.subjectTwo Factor Conceptual Role Semantics
dc.subject.classificationCognitive psychology
dc.titleGroup Cognition: Reclaiming C.S. Peirce’s Specialized Theory Of Cognition And Its Implications For Sociology And The Cognitive Sciences
dc.typeAcademic dissertations (Ph.D.)
Appears in Collections:Sociology

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