Reflecting on conventions and culture

Seminar on Language and Communication

Tuesday, May 3, 15:00

Josu Acosta (ILCLI)

Venue: Carlos Santamaria Zentroa, Room 2


Is rubbing two sticks for lightning a fire a convention? The use of this example as a possible case by Ruth Millikan (2005) discussing the basic features of conventions reminds me a commonly hold intuition: all cultural things are conventions or conventional. I want to argue that not all in culture is conventional (e.g. techniques), but also that not all conventions are cultural. In other to do so I will expose shortly a view of culture and present my hypothesis of what conventions are. In a nutshell, a convention is a relation between types of situations:
1) that is hold by a group of individuals
2) that is violable
3) that is a regularity in the environment (social environments included) and
4) it does not matter how or why it is established.

 (Attendance is free, but it should be notified in advance to