Social norms—rules governing which behaviors are deemed appropriate or inappropriate within a given community—are typically taken to be uniquely human. The view that norms are ‘human unique’ stems from commitments regarding the psychological capacities required for having them and skepticism that animals possess these prerequisites. However, among norm cognition researchers, there is little agreement about the cognitive architecture that underpins social norms in humans.
In this lecture, Kristin Andrews draws inspiration from the progress made in animal culture research. She will develop an operationalized account of social norms as a socially maintained pattern of behavioral conformity within a community and offer methods for studying social norms in wild and captive primate populations.
Kristin Andrewsis York Research Chair in Animal Minds and Professor of Philosophy at York University (Toronto), where she also helps coordinate the Cognitive Science program, the Greater Toronto Area Animal Cognition Discussion Group, serves on the board of directors of the Borneo Orangutan Society Canada, and is a member of the College of the Royal Society of Canada. She is the author of numerous articles and several books on social minds, animal minds, and ethics.