Institut Jean Nicod

Accueil > Séminaires/Colloques > Archives > Séminaires > 2012-2013 > Colloquium IJN > 14 juin : Philippe Rochat (Psychology - Emory University)

14 juin : Philippe Rochat (Psychology - Emory University)


Vendredi  14 juin 2013 de 11h à 13h

Institut Jean-Nicod (ENS, Pavillon Jardin, 29, rue d’Ulm 75005 Paris). Salle de réunion, RDC.


Philippe Rochat (Psychology - Emory University)

Title : "Origins of possession"

Human psychology surrounding possession is deeply rooted in evolved innate behaviors and propensities that we have in common with other social creatures, vertebrate and invertebrate. These propensities include behavioral orientations and preferences, territoriality, protection, attachment. What is distinctive in humans is what emerges from around their second birthday. Human possession psychology becomes objectified, self-conscious and symbolic. This development opens up the gate of all the symbolic "spin-offs" surrounding human possession including the notion of property, but also hoarding, consumerism, gambling addiction, animism or fetishism, notwithstanding morality. I will propose that morality, understood here as the negotiated, inter-subjective sense of right and wrong, is unique to our self-conscious species. It emerges in ontogeny primarily in the context of recurrent conflicts over possession and their tentative negotiated resolution. Overall, I will try to share some ideas regarding the psychology of possession, ownership, and sharing, informed by children in their development, topic of a book that I am currently writing.