Habits and Rituals

Second Workshop on “Habits and Rituals”


            Raffaela Giovagnoli and Gianfranco Basti(Pontifical Lateran University

     This event is a second instance of the workshop that first took place at the IS4IS summit 2017 in Gothenburg and attracted considerable interest. 

     Habits and rituals play a fundamental role in human life and are worthy to be considered also because they represent a form of embodied knowledge. They have been studied mostly by disciplines like anthropology, sociology and psychology. Philosophy as well offers interesting analyses from different perspectives, from Aristotle to Bourdieu. Aristotle represents a fundamental perspective to investigate the dimensions entailed by the notion of habit, while Peircean habits connect to the life of symbols. Very interesting researchers investigate the relationship between habits, code, and learning in biosemiotics. Of all human belief systems and practices, religions are strongest connected to habits and rituals in form of prayers, meditations, sacrifices, sermons, services, trances, initiation rites and more. Habits and rituals offer a common ground that can help to stimulate the discussion from different scientific and cultural perspectives. Habits and rituals embody information, though perhaps in a more materially distributed way than in text and other more conventionalized media. In many respects rituals and social habits carry a significant fraction of the information passed down from generation to generation that constitutes human cultures. So the study of this more basic mode of communication can contribute to understanding information processes in these more conventionalized forms.

     We invite contributions on the following and similar topics in relation to the contemporary trans-disciplinary and trans-cultural debate:

1. The nature and role of habits in natural and social sciences

2. Ethical issues of habits and AI, for example the implication of introduction of robotics and intelligent agents in different contexts

3. The nature and role of rituals in multicultural societies

4. Ethical issues of habits and rituals and their relevance for human life

5. The relationship between habits and rituals as continuity or discontinuity between personal and social context

6. How can the study of habits and rituals provide a broader conception of information and its pragmatic and semiotic basis?

Questions about submissions can be sent to: Raffaela Giovagnoli <raffa.giovagnoli@tiscali.it>

Submit a one page abstract by March 31, 2019