P 2 - Anthropology

From an anthropological viewpoint, ENs are at the heart of the social and historical flow. In exotic locations, without previous interpretative research, the expression of EN sensitivity is itself  a problem. As a result, many social and cultural anthropologists have been distrustful of cross-cultural psychological research methods, whether ancient or modern. Anthropologists have discussed ENs in connection with rationality, and, more centrally, a discussion of ENs can be found in ethnographic analyzes of the reasoning processes underlying, in a variety of exotic locations, the way explanations are produced and subsequent actions are justified in specific circumstances. This huge literature tends to focus on explanations for misfortune, especially disease, and dispute settlements and legal-like processes.

The proposed research will maintain the objective of studying ENs in natural settings, in a language and with a degree of precision that will mobilise interest and comprehension across the cognitive sciences. However, when working in exotic locations, it will take on board the objections that anthropologists have made against the simple exportation of research protocols, originally developed for different types of societies and cultures, to quite different circumstances. The research will accordingly borrow methods from the practice of cultural and social anthropologists.