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How far down does top-down go? Franz Boas between psychology and anthropology

Noga Arikha (European University Institute) will give a talk in the framework of the lecture series on ‘History of the Human Mind’ hosted by the EUI History of Science and Medicine Working Group.

How far down does top-down go? Franz Boas between psychology and anthropology.

There is a rich and growing body of experimental research on the “bottom-up” neural mechanisms undergirding our emotional, social and interactive lives. Straddling psychology and anthropology, this talk asks how these phenomena can be understood in “top-down” terms, as an outcome of cultural norms and family cultures that determine our implicit criteria of self-control and our relation to valenced inputs, at a more cognitive, normative level than the physiological accounts will tell us. This social picture also encapsulates the formation of second-order emotions. What constitutes the generic family culture within human societies is described by ethnologists and analysed by anthropologists, while psychologists can look at the interaction of embodied selves that underpins it. This is the question at the heart of this talk (and indeed of my current research): how does “top-down” work all the way down?

Participation is possible both on-premises and on Zoom. If you wish to register, use the following link: https://www.eui.eu/events?id=554302
You will receive the zoom link after registration. Make sure to send an e-mail to Marie van Haaster to acquire the reading material (marie.vanhaaster@eui.eu).