ERIC Number: EJ812789
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Aug
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 38
Culture, Cognitive Pluralism and Rationality
Evers, Colin W.
Educational Philosophy and Theory, v39 n4 p364-382 Aug 2007
This paper considers the prospects for objectivity in reasoning strategies in response to empirical studies that apparently show systematic culture-based differences in patterns of reasoning. I argue that there is at least one modest class of exceptions to the claim that there are alternative, equally warranted standards of good reasoning: the class that entails the solution of certain well-structured problems which, suitably chosen, are common, or touchstone, to the sorts of culturally different viewpoints discussed. There is evidence that some cognitive tasks are seen in much the same way across cultures, not least by virtue of the common run of experiences with the world of material objects in early childhood by creatures with similar cognitive endowments. These tasks thus present as similarly structured sets of claims that have similar priority: what is framed, and what is bracketed, or held constant in the background, is shown to be naturally common across cultures. As a consequence, a normative view of reasoning and, by implication, critical thinking can be defended. While this might be a modest sense of objectivity, the high level of intercultural articulation that is able to occur among people of different backgrounds suggests that it provides cognitive scaffolding for a lot of other reasoning tasks as well.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Early Childhood Education
Authoring Institution: N/A