Is there a Geography of Thought for East-West Differences? Why or Why not?

Research output: Journal Publications and ReviewsRGC 21 - Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)308-403
Journal / PublicationEducational Philosophy and Theory
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2007


Richard Nisbett's The Geography of Thought is one of several recent works that have highlighted purported differences in thinking patterns between East Asians and Westerners on the basis of empirical research. This has implications for teaching and for other issues such as cultural integration. Based on a framework consisting of three distinct notions of rationality, this paper argues that some of the differences alleged by Nisbett are either not real or exaggerated, and that his geography of thought fails to provide an adequate account of thinking styles across cultures. The paper concludes with a discussion of the implications for teaching and learning critical thinking that can be drawn from the framework developed.

Research Area(s)

  • Geography of thought, Western thinking styles, Asian thinking styles, Richard Nisbett

Bibliographic Note

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