Call for Papers "Stereotypes"

full name / name of organization: 
Special issue of Reti, Saperi, Linguaggi. Italian Journal of Cognitive Sciences

Stereotypes are ambiguous mental entities. They are negative insofar as they are thoughts that limit us in our process of categorization of reality. At the same time, they help us to simplify reality itself and the large number of perceptual stimuli we are faced with in every moment of our lives. So, while stereotypes can, on the one hand, be seen as a tool for categorization or as extensions of categories themselves – actually, a special type of category – on the other, they force us to assign a simplistic, superficial and unthinking label to a portion of reality, thus giving rise to biases and prejudices. Stereotypes as steps that immediately precede prejudice formation have been investigated, especially in the context of social psychology, starting from the Lippman's work on public opinion, and in particular as regards the relationship between groups and individuals as well as within groups. From this point of view, stereotypes are a way to defend us, as individuals or group members, from the complexity of social reality and its (increasingly rapid) changes. Stereotypes underlie prejudice formation toward, for example, ethnic minority groups, religious groups, or groups with different gender identity or orientation.

Given their two-sided nature, we believe that stereotypes are different from biases and prejudices and that they are not entirely negative, even though their simplifying power may be pushed beyond the limits within which it proves useful . We also believe that mechanisms of stereotype building need to analyzed in order to avoid this risk. We therefore propose a cognitive and philosophical analysis of stereotypes and of the relationship between stereotypes and categorization in order to define the role played by stereotypes in our everyday thought as well as in specific disciplines that involve categories and categorization processes, such as philosophy, philosophy of language, history and philosophy of sciences, social and gender studies, politics, linguistics, and sciences in general. To conduct this analysis, we call for papers that deal with the general topic of stereotypes from a cognitive and philosophical perspective, or with stereotypes in specific fields of present-day research. Our ultimate aim is to highlight their presence, to analyze them and to show how they manipulate us and how we can manipulate them to understand reality without allowing them to be imposed upon our cognitive processes. Both theoretical and applied contributions are welcome.

Invited Contributors:

Francesca Ervas (University of Cagliari)
Francesco Foroni (SISSA, International School for Advanced Studies, Trieste)
Marcello Frixione (University of Genova)
Cristina Gamberi (University of Bologna)
Edoardo Lombardi Vallauri (University of Roma Tre)
Luisa Lugli (University of Bologna)
Claudio Paolucci (University of Bologna)
Pietro Perconti (University of Messina)
Raffaella Rumiati (SISSA, International School for Advanced Studies, Trieste)
Emmanuel Sander (University of Paris 8)

Issue 2/2016 -

Guest Editor: Francesco Bianchini (University of Bologna), Domenica Bruni (University of Messina)

Submissions should adhere to the following guidelines:

Articles should be submitted in blind review format. Please omit any self-identifying information within the abstract and body of the paper.
Max length: 35.000 characters (including spaces, references and an abstract of no more than 150 words)

Languages: English - Italian

Submissions should be sent via e-mail to:


Important dates:

Deadline for submissions: August 1st, 2016

Notification of acceptance: September 15th, 2016