When Cognition Becomes Social

Workshop initiated by the research group "Primate Cognition"

Göttingen, Lichtenberg-Kolleg, 17 June 2016, 9am to 6pm

  • Programme

  • Social Cognition [SC] has become a prolific field in both natural and social sciences. Defined by primatologists Robert Seyfarth and Dorothy Cheney as knowledge about conspecifics, SC refers to animals' ability to navigate their social worlds (sensu: Bates and Byrne, 2010; 2015), by recognizing and representing others' actions, emotions and mental states, such as intentions or beliefs.

    When cognition becomes social is a workshop that aims to bring together specialists in the field of SC to share their perspectives on theory and methodology related to the following questions:

    • Is SC a special type of cognition, i.e. qualitatively different from other types of cognitive processes? If so, what explains SC's uniqueness?
    • Are there different types of SC?
    • How can SC be observed in experimental and field studies?
    • Does SC produce an increase in fitness of individuals?
    • How is SC related to the creation of bondings, partnerships and alliances in primates?
    • What is the relationship between SC, gestures, and communication?
    • Is human SC qualitatively different from that of other species?
    • What is the developmental trajectory of SC?

    • The goal of the workshop is to stimulate an interdisciplinary discussion between primatologists, philosophers, psychologists, ethnologists, and cognitive scientists whose work touches upon various aspects of social cognition.

      Invited speakers are:

    • Julia Ostner and Oliver Schülke (Georg-August-Universität Göttingen)
    • David Leavens (University of Sussex, Brighton)
    • Hannes Rakoczy (Georg-August-Universität Göttingen)
    • Kristin Andrews (York University, Toronto)

    Date: June 17, 2016
    Time: 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
    Venue: Lichtenberg-Kolleg, Geismar Landstraße 11, 37083 Göttingen

    NB: As the number of participants is limited, please send a message to Turan.Lackschewitz@zvw.uni-goettingen.de not later than 6th June if you'd like to attend. Thank you!