October 07, 2009

Human universals

A list of human universals, originally compiled by Donald E. Brown, and which is also the Appendix of Steven Pinker's The Blank Slate, which I'll be ripping off for the next few weeks.

Here's the first 20 items:
  • abstraction in speech & thought
  • actions under self-control distinguished from those not under control
  • aesthetics
  • affection expressed and felt
  • age grades
  • age statuses
  • age terms
  • ambivalence
  • anthropomorphization
  • anticipation
  • antonyms
  • attachment
  • baby talk
  • belief in supernatural/religion
  • beliefs, false
  • beliefs about death
  • beliefs about disease
  • beliefs about fortune and misfortune
  • binary cognitive distinctions
  • biological mother and social mother normally the same person

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