Scientific article
Open access

Is There a Geography of Thought?

ContributorsEngel, Pascal
Published inCognitio, vol. 8, no. 2, p. 197-212
Publication date2007

In his book The Geography of Thought, the psychologist Richard Nisbett defends the view that a significant number of results on cognitive differences between Asians and Europeans show that the structure of thinking among Eastern populations and among Occidental populations strongly diverge. Nisbett claims that these differences affect perception, conceptualisation and reasoning in general. I examine these results in the light of the relativism debate, and in particular in the light of recent arguments against relativism proposed by Paul Boghossian. Nisbett does not claim to be a relativist, but he comes close to being one. I argue that the differences he points out are much less significant that he claims, and that they need not affect structures of thought. So I am sceptical that there is a "geography of thought".

  • Cognitive Psychology
  • Geography
  • Metaphysics
  • Race
  • Reasoning
  • Relativism
  • Paul A. Boghossian
  • Richard Nisbett
Citation (ISO format)
ENGEL, Pascal. Is There a Geography of Thought? In: Cognitio, 2007, vol. 8, n° 2, p. 197–212.
Main files (1)
Article (Accepted version)
  • PID : unige:4875
ISSN of the journal1518-7187

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