Cognitive Science Colloquium - Michael Brownstein

Mar 23, 2023, 12:00 pm1:00 pm



Event Description

"Two Dogmas of Social Change"

Abstract: Contemporary thought about social change is conditioned in large part by two dogmas. One is a belief in some fundamental cleavage between individualistic routes to social change, by shaping “hearts and minds,” and structuralist routes to social change, by focusing on systems and institutions. The other dogma is foundationalism: the belief that change begins with education or wealth distribution or spiritual revival or [fill in your preferred approach]. Both dogmas, I shall argue, are ill founded. One effect of abandoning them is, as we shall see, a blurring of the supposed boundary between “micro” and “macro” social sciences. Another effect is a shift toward holism about interventions: changing minds requires changing systems and changing systems requires changing minds.