Claudio Paolucci na KOL

Srdečně zveme kolegy, studenty a příznivce lingvistiky na přednášku Claudia Paolucciho z Univesity of Bologna na téma: „Social Cognition, Mindreading and narratives. Towards a cognitive semiotics approach to social cognition“.

Akce se bude konat ve čtvrtek 2. 11. 2017. ve 14.00 v KC 1.07 na Křížkovského 14.


In the first part, I will work on the relationship between cognition and performativity in social cognition, introducing the Narrative Pratice Hypothesis (NPH). In the second part, I will tackle NPH, trying to integrate and improving it through a semiotic idea of Narrativity. In the third part, I will claim that the way we give meaning to the others’ actions comes from pragmatic semiotic interactions through which we organize them in narrative shape, starting from intersubjectivity. Far from being the condition of possibility of social cognition, Mindreading seems to be a very specific skill developed from semiotic and prelinguistic narrative practices that language extends in “wi-fi” mode (Extended Mind Theory) quite a long time before we are able to pass the “false belief” test (Theory of Mind).
i) Tackling the idea that Mind-reading appears to be a prerequisite for normal social interaction, the Narrative Pratice Hypothesis (NPH) – originally formulated by Shaun Gallagher and Daniel Hutto – claims that the normal route by which children acquire their Folk Psychology competence is through exposure to narratives of a special sort, those that «make explicit mention of how mental states (most prominently, beliefs and desires) figure in the lives, history and larger projects of their owners, inter alia » (Hutto, 2009, 11). According to NPH, mental states come from social narrative practices grounded in the world and not in the head, in which beliefs and desires figure in the lives and project of their owners. That’s why Folk Psychology is acquired through narratives.
With Folk Psychology, NPH means our everyday practice of making sense of intentional actions (our own and those of others) in terms of reasons (beliefs, desires etc.). Since Folk Psychological narratives are distinguished by being about agents who act for reasons, the Narrative Pratice Hypothesis claims that Folk Psychology competence is constitutively related to narrative practices. That is the core claim of the NPH.
If NPH is true, the way we understand others is not grounded on a mind-reading mechanism, which indeed is a very specific skill developed from our pragmatic interaction with others, where the subject is not an observer of others’ actions but a “fellow character” interacting with others inside of a practice. It is action with its narrative logic that shapes the mind-reading cognitive ability and the related theory of mind, not vice versa. Cognition is a function of action and action is immediately an inter-action.
ii) However, what is the theory of narrativity implicit in the NPH, that entrusts narrativity with such a great power at the level of cognition?
In my opinion, the NPH does not offer or incorporate a theory of narrative competence at all. It simply says that narrative practices play a critical part in engendering folk psychological competence, but it studiously avoids providing a theory or definition of what narratives are. Rather it operates under the assumption that is uncontroversial that narrative practices of the right kind exist. This has to be challenged through a semiotic conception of Narrativity.
iii) In my last part, I will claim that our everyday practice of making sense of intentional actions in terms of reasons (beliefs, desires etc.) is a skill that comes from social narrative practices in which we manipulate the others, we try to make the others do things inside a shared system of values, we gain the competences needed to do these kind of things, we act and we get judged on our actions. This kind of activity grounds the relationship between mommy and baby before the showing up of verbal language and it is a pattern of action that can be found not only in every primate, but also in a huge variety of other animal species. I will finally deal with situations where this pattern is problematic, like in social skills pathologies (Gallese, Rochat e Berchio 2012), working a bit on the “Social Motivation Theory” of Autism Spectrum Disorder (Dawson et al. 2005, Chevalier et al. 2012, Famà 2017, P. Pennisi 2017).