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Planned Activities

November 26th

SANU, Niš, and Center for Cognitive Sciences invite you to attend a lecture titled "Cognitive Principle of Force Dynamics and Mihailo Petrović Alas's Metaphors," which will be given by Professor Djordje Vidanović, Ph.D.

The lecture will take place on Monday, November 26th, at 12:00, lecture hall 8, ground floor, Main University Building (Banovina).

November 19th

Center for Cognitive Sciences invites You to attend a lecture that will be given of Monday, November 19th, by prof. Håkan Wallen, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden (https://ki.se/en/people/hawall). Prof. Jovan Antović, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden will be taking part in the discussion.

The lecture will include the following topics:

Doctoral Education at Karolinska Institutet

How to train PhD students? Who should we educate and Why?

The KI process and view on Doctoral Education will be presented and discussed

Introduction of New Oral Anticoagulants (NOACs) to prevent stroke in Afib: The Stockholm / Swedish experience and strategy

The use of NOACs have increased dramatically in the Stockholm county, with beneficial effects on stroke and safety. The implementation process and its results will be presented and discussed.

Venue: main University building (Banovina), ground floor, room no. 8.

November 13th and 14th

Center for Cognitive sciences is happy to welcome Todd Oakley, Professor and Chair of Cognitive Science, Case Western Reserve University, Ohio, USA, who will give two talks during his stay next week.

The first talk, titled "How Institutions Think Analogically: A Sedimentation and Motivation Model for Money Systems ," is scheduled for Tuesday, November 13th, at 10:15, lecture hall 434, fourth floor, Faculty of Philosophy. More details about the talk are available in the abstract below.

How Institutions Think Analogically:
A Sedimentation and Motivation Model for Money Systems


This presentation examines how analogical thinking legitimizes and delegitimizes institutions. Money and banking are conspicuous test cases for a Sedimentation and Motivation Model (SEaM) model of metaphor/analogy (Zlatev) insofar as SEaM offers explanations of collective action that are not viciously circular. Institutions are founded on analogy and confer identity, says the anthropologist Mary Douglas (1986), such that institutional legitimacy depends on the situational, historical, and universal appeals that ultimately link to "that which is natural." Western history is punctuated by moments of financial crisis that test economies and polities and debates about money are motivated by longstanding, but incommensurate, conceptualizations of money. Principally between the analogical equivalency of money as a commodity, and money as a record of debt. The analogy of "commodity money" is deeply entrenched across many cultures and through time but does not accurately track the functions of money systems,; the analogy of debt money, on the other hand, is likewise a deeply entrenched practice defining the essential operations of all known state money systems, but suffers from the rhetorical disadvantage of a more tenuous link to "that which is natural," money as debt is transparently a social convention, lacking "a naturalizing principle to confer the spark of legitimacy" (1986: 52). Money systems represent an interesting case study of institutional cognition because the most intuitive, ready-to-hand concepts of money mislead and misinform the polity at the same time as more accurate concepts of money as debt remain semiotically impoverished in their ability to motivate its users. Thus, money as commodity enjoys a richer vein of rhetorical resources. This rhetorical situation turns the history of money on its head: any culture that has a money system uses it as a record of debt, but not all cultures use coins or other commodity tokens, even though all commodity currency systems are records or debt. Here we have the problem of perceived universality (the commodity analogy) overriding empirical universality (money as debt). In short, the indexical relationship between signifier (metal substance) and signified (record of debt) collapses so that signifier becomes signified, full stop: money is gold.


This analogical inequality can be seen in many historical reviews of financial crises. The current presentation will look at the role of gold and silver coinage in Ancient Lydian society, as well as the 1695 debate between John Locke and William Lowndes over recoinage of the Pound.




Douglas, M. 1986. How institutions think. Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press.


Zlatev, J. 2017. The sedimentation and motivation model in an ecological theory of metaphor. CCS             Seminar: Litomyšl, Czech Republic


The second talk, titled "Representation and the Semiotic Circuit: Hypotyposic Abstraction as a Human Singularity,"
is scheduled for Wednesday, November 14th, at 18:00, lecture hall 8, ground floor, Main University Building (Banovina). Details are available below.

Representation and the Semiotic Circuit:
Hypotyposic Abstraction as a Human Singularity


For human beings, hypostatic abstraction forms the semiotic basis of representation, defined as using X to stand for Y, for which X is intentional, and Y is can be decoupled from the here-and-now. In fact, as Stjernfelt (2014: 165) reminds us, human beings can create hypostatic abstractions about fictional creatures, such as Unicorns. Anyone familiar with these fantastical beasts has a sense of "unicornicity," such that they are typically white and have spiraling horns between their eyes. In fact, it is possible to regard a particular manifestation of "unicorn" as "unacceptable." In this case, hypostatic abstraction leads to hypothetical abstraction or reasoning about a range of self-consciously possible and impossible entities and situations. What really marks human semiotic circuitry as unique as hypotyposic abstraction, the skill of reasoning or investigation about an absent Y (real for fictional) as if it were present in the here-and-now. A signal feature of human representational practices is the making present that which is otherwise absent for specific common and communicative purposes, such as verbally ridiculing an absent political opponent, weaving the likeness of a hunted unicorn into tapestries to symbolize Christ and the Passion, and so on. It is these capacities for hypostatic, hypothetical, and hypotyposic abstraction that leverages the power of representation for human minds. The fact that we routinely construct these representations for the benefit of others, or to entrain others to help realize our own projects, is a singularity for human beings that call for greater investigation. 




Stjernfelt, F. 2014. Natural Propositions: the actuality of Peirce's doctrine of signs. Boston: Docent Press.


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