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« Hey-- still *more* entries for Cultural Cognition Dictionary/Glossary/Whatever | Main | Weekend update: more "Cultural Cognition Dictionary/Glossary" »

Still more entries in "Cultural Cognition Dictionary/Glossary (whatever)"

This--creating a dictionary/glossary of terms used in the study of cultural cognition--is kind of fun. So I'll add terms whenever the mood strikes me. I've arranged the new entries for today in a sort of thematic order.  In the new page that houses the growing number of dictionary/glossary entries, however, everything is alphabetical (I'll likely add cross-reference links where one term is best understood in relation to one or more other ones).

Secular harm. Refers to a set-back to interest the nature of which is independent of assent to any  culturally partisan conception of the best way to live.  Principal examples include damage to individuals’ physical security and impediments to their apprehension of collective knowledge.  Precisely because such harms can be experienced universally by citizens of diverse cultural identities, protecting citizens from such set-backs is a legitimate end for law in a liberal state [Sources: Rawls, Political Liberalism 175, 217-18 (1993); & Mill, On Liberty, ch. 1 (1859).  Date added: Dec. 26, 2017.] 

Sectarian harm. Refers to a set-back to interest the nature of which is dependent on assent to a partisan conception of the best way to live.  A principal example is the offense individuals experience when they are exposed to behavior that expresses commitments to values alien to theirs. Precisely because such harms depend on—cannot be defined independently of—adherence to a particular conception of the best life, using law to avert or remedy them is illegitimate in a liberal state. [Source: Mill, On Liberty, ch. 1 (1859).  Dated added: Dec. 26, 2017.]

Cognitive illiberalism. Refers to a  tendency to selectively impute cognizable secular harms to behavior that generates non-cognizable sectarian harms. Such a tendency is unconscious and hence invisible to the actor whose information-processing capabilities have been infected by it.  Indeed, the bias that cognitive illiberalism comprises can subvert a decisionmaker’s conscious, genuine intent to exercise legal authority consistent with liberal ideals [source: Kahan, Hoffman & Braman, Harv. L. Rev. (2009), 126, 837-906; Kahan, Hoffman, Braman, Evans & Rachlinski, Stan. L. Rev., 64, 851-906  (2012). Date added Dec. 26, 2017.]

Cognitively illiberal state. Refers to a liberal political regime pervaded—and hence subverted—by institutions and laws that reflect the unconscious tendency of legal and political decisionmakers to impute secular harms to behavior that imposes only sectarian ones. [source: Kahan, Stanford L. Rev. 60:115-54 (2007). Date added Dec. 26, 2017.]

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Reader Comments (4)

"A principle example": correct to "principal."

Very useful to have these entries in expository order.

December 26, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMiles Rind


I suggest you put together a lexicon (as here). It's fun!

December 26, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterAndrew Gelman

@Miles-- doh! Thanks

December 26, 2017 | Registered CommenterDan Kahan

@Andrew--I was in fact inspired by your dictionary/glossary but hadn't realized there was a Japanese version

December 26, 2017 | Registered CommenterDan Kahan

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