CFP: Special Issue of the Review of Philosophy and Psychology on Cultural Variation in Cognition

Submission deadline: April 1, 2021

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Special Issue of the Review of Philosophy and Psychology on Cultural Variation in Cognition.

Editors: Edouard Machery, Stephen Stich, and Joshua Knobe

Deadline: April 1, 2021


This special issue will bring together scientists and philosophers with radically different views about two outstanding and still controversial questions: To what extent and in what way is cognition influenced by culture? Is cross-cultural research essential to cognitive science? 

Ten years ago, in their groundbreaking article in Behavioral and Brain Sciences, “The weirdest people in the world,” Heine, Henrich, and Norenzayan challenged the behavioral sciences to take into account the radical influence of culture on cognition and behavior, but despite the undeniable success of this article and growing interest in cross-cultural research, studying cultural variation remains an after thought in much of the social sciences.

We are inviting articles addressing the question of the influence of culture on cognition and the place of cross-cultural research in the behavioral sciences.

The following questions are of particular interest for this special issue:

1. What is the extent of cultural variation in cognition? Is the human mind fundamentally uniform across cultures (the “psychic unity” of humanity)?

2. Why does cognition vary across cultures (if it does)? 

3. Should psychology be a historical science like historical linguistics? 

4. Is the WEIRD vs. non-WEIRD distinction useful for psychology and other behavioral sciences? How to go beyond it?

5. Is the concept of culture useful to study cognitive variation? How to identify the cultural units that are relevant for psychology?

6. How to analyze cross-cultural data?

7. What are the challenges for cross-cultural research?

8. How can team science contribute to cross-cultural research? What are its challenges and limitations?

9. How to do cross-cultural research in an ethical manner? How should local populations be involved? Can local populations contribute to the formulation of scientific questions themselves?

10. How should a Constraint on Generality statement be required for publication? 

11. What implications do debates about cultural variation in cognition have for traditional philosophical issues and for philosophical methodology?

Deadline: April 1, 2021. 


The special issue will include articles by the following authors:

·      Joseph Henrich, Harvard, Human Evolutionary Biology (

·      Richard Nisbett, Michigan, Psychology (

·      Christine Legare, University of Texas at Austin, Psychology (

It will also include the exchange between Machery and Stich on one side ( and Joshua Knobe on the other (

Papers are to be submitted to the Review of Philosophy and Psychology ( under the SI: Cultural Variation in Cognition. Please contact Edouard Machery ( if you have any questions.

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#Culturalvariation, RoPP