Dan Sperber is a French social and cognitive scientist. He is the author of Rethinking Symbolism (Cambridge UP 1975), On Anthropological Knowledge (Cambridge UP 1985), Explaining Culture (Blackwell 1996). In these three books, he has developed a naturalistic approach to culture under the name of “epidemiology of representations”. Dan Sperber is also the co-author, with Deirdre Wilson (Department of Linguistics, University College, London) of Relevance: Communication and Cognition (Blackwell 1986 – Second Revised Edition, 1995). Dan Sperber and Deirdre Wilson have developed a cognitive approach to communication known as “Relevance Theory”. Both the epidemiology of representations and relevance theory have been influential and also controversial.
Dan Sperber holds a research professorship at the French Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) in Paris, and has held visiting positions at Cambridge University, the British Academy, University College London, the London School of Economics, the Van Leer Institute in Jerusalem, the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, Princeton University, the University of Michigan, the University of Bologna, the University of Hong-Kong, and the University of Chicago.
This lecture is part of the PERITIA Lectures Series Un]Truths: Trust in an Age of Disinformation.