Grounding Social Sciences in Cognitive Sciences [Book Review]

Philosophical Psychology 28 (8):1249-1253 (2015)
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Readers of Philosophical Psychology may be most familiar with Ron Sun by way of an article recently appearing in this journal on creative composition expressed within his own hybrid computational intelligence model, CLARION (Sun, 2013). That article represents nearly two decades’ work in situated agency stressing the importance of psychologically realistic architectures and processes in the articulation of both functional, and reflectively informative, AI and agent- level social-cultural simulations. Readers may be less familiar with Sun’s 2001 “prolegomena” to related multi-agent (proto-social) research also from this journal. That article argues that “a proper balance between “objective” social reality and individual cognitive processes” is necessary in order to understand “how individual belief systems... and the social/cultural belief system ... interact” (Sun, 2001, pages 10 and 23). This issue remains central in Sun’s 2012 edited volume, Grounding Social Sciences in the Cognitive Sciences, here addressed from within the expanding field of pioneering researchers bent on orchestrating that proper balance, the “cognitive social sciences.” Its fifteen chapters are sectioned according to culture, politics, religion, and economics, and closes with an especially rewarding pair of contributions from Gintis, and McCubbins and Turner, under the heading of “unifying perspectives.” Most entries – but for Sun’s own - are serviceably summarized in the introductory overview. So, rather than follow suit, this review will focus on setting out Sun’s vision, noting how this text helps us to realize it more clearly, with a positive focus on a few entries in particular

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Jeffrey White
Okinawa Institute Of Science And Technology


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