Cognitive Dimensions of Social Science: The Way We Think About Politics, Economics, Law, and Society

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What will be the future of social science? Where exactly do we stand, and where do we go from here? What kinds of problems should we be addressing, with what kinds of approaches and arguments? In Cognitive Dimensions of Social Science, Mark Turner offers an answer to these pressing questions: social science is headed toward convergence with cognitive science. Together they will give us a new and better approach to the study of what human beings are, what human beings do, what kind of mind they have, and how that mind developed over the history of the species. Turner, one of the originators of the cognitive scientific theory of conceptual integration, here explores how the application of that theory enriches the social scientific study of meaning, culture, identity, reason, choice, judgment, decision, innovation, and invention. About fifty thousand years ago, humans made a spectacular advance: they became cognitively modern. This development made possible the invention of the vast range of knowledge, practices, and institutions that social scientists try to explain. For Turner, the anchor of all social science - anthropology, political science, sociology, economics - must be the study of the cognitively modern human mind. In this book, Turner moves the study of those extraordinary mental powers to the center of social scientific research and analysis.