SOCIAL REPRESENTATIONS: A COGNITIVE RESEARCH PROGRAM
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The paper gives an explanation of some ontological and epistemological commitments of a cognitive research program dealing with the social representations, which has been coined by Dan Sperber, namely of the epidemiology of representations. Social representations are described as causal chains linking together mental representations and public productions. The importance of the psychological aspects and external, historical aspects is stressed as necessary in explaining social phenomena. The paper reviews critically Durkheim's concept of social phenomena and an epistemologically more plausible alternative is offered.
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