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JRAI Special Issue Online Launch: Mind and Spirit: A Comparative Theory

May 29 2020 @ 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

JRAI Special Issue Online Launch

with the special issue editor Professor Tanya Luhrmann (Stanford University) and editorial liaison Dr Nick Long (LSE)

plus contributors (Felicity Aulino, Joshua Brahinsky, John Dulin, Vivian Afi Dzokoto, Emily Ng, Rachel E. Smith, Kara Weisman)

A video of the event is available here

Friday 29 May 2020 at 4:00 pm

Does the way we think about our minds matter? Our judgments about what counts as thought are so intimate that we may not even realize that we make them. But we do—and the way we make them has real consequences for our sense of the real.

The Mind and Spirit project found that the way people think about thinking shapes the way they experience (what they take to be) gods and spirits. We are a team of anthropologists and psychologists who worked together for two years across sites in the United States, Ghana, Thailand, China, and Vanuatu. We argue in this collection that there are cultural differences in the way social worlds represent “the mind” —we call these local theories of mind—and that these differences affect whether and how people, for instance, hear the voice of the dead or feel the presence of god. We find that the way people think about thought and interiority may alter something so basic as human sensory experience.

You can see the Special Issue online here https://rai.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/toc/14679655/2020/26/S1

Tanya Marie Luhrmann is the Watkins University Professor at Stanford University, in the Stanford Anthropology Department (and Psychology, by courtesy). Her work focuses on local theory of mind and the edge of experience: on voices, visions, the world of the supernatural and the world of psychosis. She was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2003 and received a John Guggenheim Fellowship award in 2007. 


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May 29 2020
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
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