Appel « Logique et Utopie », conférence Santorin 27 juillet 2016

ISSC 2016

International Conference, Santorini (Thera), Greece, July 27, 2016

The Logics of Image:  Visualization, Iconicity, Imagination and Human Creativity

Although reality is perceived in a spatial way, the language that we use to represent it is linear. Moreover, the epistemic status of visualization has been disputed in mathematics and logic, although in education at least in some instances no understanding can be achieved without the aid of visualizations. The development of iconicity in the Digital World was initially conceived as a means to have a universal language, i.e. a visual (iconic) language, when creating and interpreting media.

Nevertheless, the fundamental gap remains today: symbols conform to speech, while images conform to vision. Which are the logics of image and vision? How images, symmetric, asymmetric or dissymmetric patterns are related with visual reasoning, creativity and aesthetic values?

Academics from a variety of scientific and engineering specialties, philosophers and professional artists will be brought to Santorini (Thera) in July 2016 to debate and suggest novel approaches and interpretations on these long-standing interdisciplinary issues.

Workshop « Logic and Utopia», Santorini, July 27th, 2016


Magioglou Thalia (Hellenic Observatory/L.S.E. and C.E.M./IIAC/EHESS, Paris, France)

Petros Stefaneas (National Technical University of Athens)

This workshop  in its 3rd edition focuses on the Creative side of Logic and the Plural Logics of Utopian thinking addressed from an interdisciplinary perspective.

Utopias as projects of future societies use imagination, visualisation, symbols as well as patterns and forms of Logic. The ideal Polities of Plato and Aristotle, combine forms of Logic with imagination. Thomas More’s Utopia is related to a visual image of a map. Desire, perfectionism and (im)possibility to become a reality have been some of its aspects in the past, as well as a form of criticism of the present situation. Utopias are impregnated by culture, socially and historically situated and open to revision. Utopias use imagination; they are impregnated by visual images and symbols. Forms of logic are also present in a less elaborate way, in the projects and social representations of political and social actors, part of social and political identities.

Are Utopias’ imagination and Logic creating new conceptual frameworks challenging or comforting power relations? Or do they serve as a form of aesthetic escapism to prevent social transformation? What differentiates utopias from dystopias?


5 Organizing Dimensions of the debate

-Utopia in Imaginaries, Social representations and everyday/lay thinking

-The logic-s of power in everyday and political discourse

-Culture and subjectivities in utopias

-Utopian Temporalities

-Social Logics and forms of reasoning


Séminaire le 28 Septembre: Les jeunes Grecs, la Démocratie et la crise

Le prochain séminaire du centre Edgar Morin aura lieu

le 28 septembre – de 15 h à 17 h (salle 6, 105 bd Raspail 75006 Paris) sur le thème :

Les jeunes Grecs, la Démocratie et la crise : étude longitudinale et qualitative à partir d’un regard de psychologie culturelle et politique.

Thalia Magioglou, C.E.M./IIAC;

La présentation se focalise sur les deux axes de mon travail concernant les représentations de la démocratie chez les jeunes Grecs. Le premier axe est celui de la psychologie politique, culturelle et sociétale. Il est question de dynamiques culturelles et idéologiques du « global politique » (Marc Abelès), des imaginaires et représentations partagés et ancrés dans des modes de vie de la région. Le deuxième axe associe la pensée au discours, aux « logiques » sociales et il a recours à la pragmatique en linguistique et à la science de la logique au niveau méthodologique.

Plus précisément, les études menées sur les représentations sociales de la démocratie avec des populations de jeunes Grecs à Athènes ont eu lieu avant la dernière crise (1999 ; début 2009) et pendant (2010 ; 2015) avec des entretiens non-directifs. Le dernier volet des entretiens est en cours parce que les élections de janvier et septembre 2015 ainsi que le référendum du mois de juillet 2015 sont considérés comme des formes de « rupture » du modèle politique dominant après la fin de la dictature de 1974 en Grèce. Le choix de la temporalité des entretiens s’appuie sur les périodes de « transition » liées au cadre socio-politique et sera justifié.

Au niveau théorique, les entretiens sont orientés vers la représentation du « bien » commun, de la « société désirée » ou des formes de « pensée utopique ». (Magioglou, 2008 ;2014). La conception du sens commun qui découle de ce travail s’inspire de la psychologie sociale (i.e. Moscovici, 1984), mais la question spécifique de la démocratie m’a aussi orientée vers des lectures de pensée politique qui ont modifié le concept initial que je vais proposer à la discussion.

Au niveau méthodologique je présenterai l’analyse de discours appuyée sur l’usage de connecteurs (inspiré des travaux d’Anscombre et Ducrot ainsi que de Carel).

Appel à contributions workshop « Pensée Utopique et Logiques, Istanbul, 24 Juin 2015

5th Congress of Universal Logic

This is the fifth edition of a world event organized by Prof. Jean-Yves Beziau of the Univ. of Rio, Brazil, dedicated to universal logic with invited talks by some of the best alive logicians and a selection of contributed talks. This event is intended to be a major event in logic, providing a platform for future research guidelines. Such an event is of interest for all people dealing with logic in one way or another: pure logicians, mathematicians, computer scientists, AI researchers, linguists, psychologists, philosophers, social scientists, etc. (

Workshop « Utopian thinking and Logic-s », Istanbul, 2015

Keynote speaker: Pr. Jaan Valsiner (Clark Univ., U.S.A.)

Organization: Magioglou Thalia (EPoPs/FMSH, C.E.M./IIAC, Paris, France)

Following the symposium organized in July 26 at Andros island, Greece by Stefaneas (National Technical Univ. of Athens) and Magioglou (EPoPs/FMSH, Paris), on “Logic and Utopia” this workshop focuses on the Plural logics of Utopian thinking. Utopian thinking will addressed from an interdisciplinary perspective.

Utopias as projects of future societies have historically been present since ancient Greece, with the example of Plato’s and Aristotle’s Polities, but the term is created by Thomas More in England. Desire, perfectionism and (im)possibility to become reality have been some of its aspects in the past, as well as a form of criticism of the present situation. In this way, they are impregnated by culture, socially and historically constructed and open to revision. Utopias are also present in a less elaborate way, in the projects and social representations of political and social actors, part of social and political identities.

How does utopian thinking use “logic”?

The concept of logic will be is addressed in its plurality: not only a. « logos », philosophical reasoning and b. language, but also c. as “social logic” of people who are not “experts”, knowledgeable or powerful on a particular field, but instead, “ordinary citizens”. The workshop focuses particularly on the perspective of the social and political actors in different cultural contexts, in other words, the utopian logic-s of lay or everyday thinking.

The plural aspect of logic is present in the notion of utopia, and particularly the political utopias will be also discussed as prospective of better worlds. The common good, the notion of the Polis and “Demos”, will be confronted to studies that show concrete initiatives taken by local actors, in the direction of change. What distinguishes utopias from dystopias could be our representation of the common good, in other words, the objectives chosen.

Democracy, as well as economy, are examples of utopias related to the rationality of the modernity. They are imbricated in the contemporary societies to traditions (still active or reinvented) and religion. They allow new combinations, hybrids of meaning that multiply in the context of “global politics”, as producers of utopias, moral geographies, and imaginary identities that we are going to question.

Organizing Dimensions of the debate

Utopia in Imaginaries, Social representations and everyday/lay thinking

-The logic-s of power in everyday and political discourse

-Culture and subjectivities in utopias

-Utopian Temporalities

-Social Logics and forms of reasoning

Papers from cultural, political, social psychology, as well as anthropology, sociology, history and philosophy are particularly welcome

Call for papers

To submit a contribution send a one page abstract to:

Journée d’études: Logique et Utopie, Andros, Grèce

Λογική και Ουτοπία

Logique et Utopie

Logic and Utopia

Andros, Cyclades, Greece

Samedi, 26 Juillet 2014

Co-organisé par EPoPs/FMSH (Thalia Magioglou,;, and the National Technical University of Athens, Department of Mathematics (Dr. Petros Stefaneas,

La journée concerne les imbrications entre le concept de logique, en philosophie, ainsi que celui de logiques sociales et psychologiques, avec celui de l’utopie et de l’imaginaire. Le rôle de nouvelles technologies (numériques et autres), sera mis en avant.

La logique en tant que logos, raisonnement philosophique et langage, sera mise au plurielle quand il est question de règles qui socialement construites et par conséquent, soumises à une révision. Il est aussi question de logiques psychologiques, qui justifient par exemple le contournement du raisonnement formel afin de permettre, par exemple, l’intégration de la personne à un groupe.

Cet aspect pluriel de la logique, que nous retrouvons en sciences sociales et psychologiques, sera mis en relation avec la notion de l’utopie, et surtout l’utopie politique, en tant que prospectives des mondes meilleurs. L’espace commun, les notions de la Polis, du démos et du peuple, seront discutées et confrontées à des études qui mettent la lumière sur des personnes et des groupes qui prennent des initiatives concrètes dans la direction du changement. Est-ce que ce qui distingue les utopies des dystopies est notre conception du bien commun, en d’autres mots les objectifs choisis ?

La démocratie et l’économie, en tant qu’exemple d’utopies issues de la rationalité et de la modernité s’imbriquent en outre actuellement dans des traditions (persistantes ou réinventées) et de la religion, et donnent lieu à des combinaisons nouvelles, participant d’hybridations de sens qui se démultiplient dans le contexte du « global-politique » producteur d’utopies, et géographies morales et des identités imaginaires que nous allons questionner.


Morning Session: Chair Thalia Magioglou (EPoPs/FMSH, IIAC/EHESS)

9.00 – 9.15 Opening Session – Petros Stefaneas (NTUA): Why Logic and Utopia


9. 15- 10.00 Keynote lecture- Jean Yves Beziau (Rio de Janeiro): Logic, Imagination and Possibility

10.15-10.35 Vassilios Aravantinos (Supreme Administrative Court of Greece): Logic and empirical reality

10.35-10.55 Ioannis Vandoulakis (Greek Open University): Utopia and foundations of mathematics

10.55 – 11.15 Sergey Sudoplatov (Novosibirsk State Technical University):   Classification of countable models of complete theories: philosophical aspects

11.15 – 11.35 Ioanna Lekea (Hellenic Air Force Academy): Cinema and Military Ethics: Utopia or Reality?

11.35-11.55 Kostas Theologou (NTUA): On the inescapable and interactive relation of art and technology

11.55-12.15 Dimitris Foufoulas: From the ‘‘art’’ of utopia to the utopia of art.


Lunch Break 12.15- 13.15

Afternoon session: Chair Petros Stefaneas

13.15 – 13.35- Alexis Bakopoulos (NTUA): The Peripeteia of the Imaginary Number – Utopia turned into Logic


13.40-14.00 Vicky Iakovou (University of Aegean): “Ernst Bloch on Utopia and Marxism”

14.00-14.20 Noelle Burgi (CNRS, University Paris 1, France) : the utopia of democracy and economic neoliberalism

14.20-14.40 Thalia Magioglou (EPoPS/FMSH, IIAC/EHESS, France): Democracy as a form of utopia for lay thinking. A perspective of political psychology

14.40 – 15.00 Nicolas Jaoul (CNRS, IRIS/EHESS France) : Political utopia socialized: the mundane life of Ambedkarite Buddhism in Uttar Pradesh

15.00-15.20  Teresa Mora : (sociology, University of Minho, Portugal) « Transposing the mainstream cut between sociology and utopia »

15.20-15.40    Christine Jeofrion (University of Nantes, France) The Well-being at work : a utopia ? Going beyond psycho-social risks towards creativity and performance (Université de Nantes, France)

16.00-16.45 Keynote lecture – Maurice Godelier (EHESS, France): Refounding the Western World: hegemony and utopia






Religion et Politique en Europe: le 19 juin à 11h

Dans le cadre du séminaire “Représentations Sociales Hégémoniques: démocratie, économie et religion”, organisé par Thalia Magioglou et Lionel Obadia entre EPoPs/FMSH et le laboratoire IIAC/EHESS,

nous accueillons François Foret, Professeur à l’Université Libre de Bruxelles,

qui nous présentera ses travaux sur la question de:

Religion et Politique en Europe.

La séance aura lieu à la Fondation Maison des Sciences de l’Hommes, au 190 avenue de France, salle 318 au 3e étage, de 11.00 à 13.00.

Pour plus d’informations, (

Imbrications entre démocratie, religion et économie, en Inde


Dans le cadre du séminaire « Représentations Sociales Hégémoniques: démocratie, économie et religion », organisé par Thalia Magioglou et Lionel Obadia,

Max-Jean Zins

(Dir. de recherches CNRS, Responsable du Programme Inde, FMSH)

présente le 6 mars à 11.00 salle 2, 105 bd Raspail, 75006,

des aspects de l’imbrication entre démocratie, religion et économie en Inde.


Conference February 13, 2014: “Fictional Expectations and Capitalist Dynamics”

“Fictional Expectations and Capitalist Dynamics »

February 13, 2014,

Room 641, 6th Floor,

190 avenue de France, Paris

Prof. Jens Beckert, Max Planck Institut, Cologne

This Conference is taking place in the seminar « Représentations Sociales Hégémoniques: démocratie, économie, religion », organised by Thalia Magioglou and Lionel Obadia.


In my talk I start from  the assumption that under conditions of uncertainty the decisions of intentionally rational actors are anchored in fictions. “Fictionality” in economic action is the inhabitation in the mind of an imagined future state of the world and the beliefs in causal mechanisms leading to this future state. Actors are motivated in their actions by the imagined future and organize their activities based on these mental representations. Since these representations are not confined to empirical reality, fictional expectations are also a source of creativity in the economy. In the talk I develop the notion of fictional expectations and relate it especially to the operation of money and financial markets and innovation processes.

Biographical information

Jens Beckert is professor of sociology and director of the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies in Cologne. He studied sociology and business administration at the Freie Universität Berlin and the New School for Social Research in New York. He received his Ph.D. and his habilitation in sociology from the Freie Universität. Beckert was a visiting fellow at the sociology department of Princeton University in 1994/95 and at the Center for European Studies of Harvard University in 2001/02. In 2007/08 he was a Fernand Braudel Fellow at the European University Institute in Florence. In 2012/13 he was a resident at the Institut d’études avancées in Paris.

His research focuses on the fields of economic sociology, sociology of inheritance, organization theory and social theory. Recent publications:  Capitalism as a System of Expectations: Toward a Sociological Microfoundation of Political Economy. In: Politics & Society 41 (3), 2013, 323-350. Imagined Futures. Fictional Expectations in the Economy. In: Theory and Society 42, 2013, 219-240. Constructing Quality. The Classification of Goods in Markets. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013 (ed. together with Christine Musselin).

Journée d’études le 18 décembre: La politique de l’économie, imaginaires et représentations dans les temporalités de mondialisation

Mercredi, 18 décembre 2013

Salle 640

190 avenue de France

75013 Paris

Journée d’étude organisée par EPoPs/FMSH (Thalia Magioglou) et Centre Edgar Morin (IIAC, EHESS)


La référence à l’économie est de tous les débats publics, des sphères de la décision politique jusqu’aux espaces académiques, en passant par les différentes composantes de la société civile. Catégorie lexicale générique associée à une diversité de référents sémantiques (de l’économie solidaire au capitalisme mondialisé), les discours sur l’ « économie » cristallisent des positions et mobilisent des forces idéologiques antagonistes, convoquent de la culture (aliénée par une économie qui l’industrialise, de Arendt à Adorno) contre de la culture (« consumériste » en voie de mondialisation), de la société (nationale) contre des sociétés (multinationales), du local (politique) contre du mondial (économique)… et offrent donc à l’analyse un vaste champ de topiques et de postures d’énonciation à propos de la place et des effets de l’économie dans le contexte de la mondialisation.

Cette journée d’étude s’intéressera moins à l’économie productive ou financière elle-même, qu’aux représentations sociales et discours qui portent sur elle, et leur confrontation aux registres de la démocratie et du politique. L’angle retenue sera celui des imaginaires et représentations sociales de l’économie, considérées au prisme de la temporalité des acteurs et des questions de responsabilité morale, dégagées à partir des nouveaux clivages générés par la crise financière entre l’univers de la finance et celui de l’action politique (Touraine, 2010). Cette perspective s’inspire du regard psychosocial de Moscovici (1961/1976) (mais pas seulement) et de la philosophie politique de Castoriadis (1975) qui considère la démocratie et l’économie comme des « significations imaginaires centrales » et la conscience de leur dimension imaginaire comme une étape vers un projet d’autonomie des pensées individuelle et sociale,  le non rationnel et la radicalité dans l’imaginaire, à partir desquels la création est possible. La temporalité se définit quant à elle comme altérité-altération constante de la société, à l’échelle du quotidien (et non seulement au moment d’une catastrophe ou d’une révolution). Si le diagnostic établi à partir des représentations de l’économie par les Européens engendre une hétéronomie de type kantien et même une aliénation marxiste, il peut constituer en même temps une entrave à leur action en tant que « citoyens » ou « sujets » (Wieviorka, 2012) et la démocratie. D’autres voix suggèrent à l’opposé que l’économie (ou du moins un certain système économique) contribue à l’épanouissement social des individus, et est corrélatif d’idées et d’institutions démocratiques. Il importe donc de reprendre les termes du débat au regard de ce qu’on pourrait appeler l’institution imaginaire de l’économie, en explorant les enjeux (sociaux et scientifiques) d’une question qui aurait pu être cantonnée à un registre strictement idéologique…


Avec la participation de :

Alexander Ebner (Professeur de politique économique, Université Goethe de Francfort)

Christine Roland-Lévy (Professeur de psychologie économique, Université de Reims)

Giorgos Pagoulatos (Professeur de politique européenne et d’économie, Collège Européen de Bruges, Université d’Athènes)

Ivana Markova (Professeur de psychologie sociale, Univ. de Stirling, Ecosse)

Keith Hart (Professeur d’anthropologie sociale, Université de Pretoria, Afrique du Sud)

Lionel Obadia (Professeur d’anthropologie sociale, Université Lyon 2)

Rui Tavares (Eurodéputé, Portugal)

Contact :

Book review: Extremism and the Psychology of Uncertainty.

Book review: M.A. Hogg, D.L. Blaylock (eds)., (2012). Extremism and the Psychology of Uncertainty. Wiley-Blackwell.

Dr. Thalia Magioglou

EPoPs/Maison des Sciences de l’Homme de Paris and Centre Edgar Morin/IIAC/ EHESS

Extremism and the Psychology of Uncertainty is addressing a very important question: whether an individual or collective feeling of uncertainty might cause extremism. And the answer is yes.  The authors examine major theoretical perspectives in social psychology and apply them in concrete research fields, investigating the role of uncertainty ay different levels:  between individuals and groups, as well as between groups and society.  A book I will definitely use.

The editors in the preface underline also directions for future research: uncertainty is a problematic construct associated to meaning, threat and anxiety (in p. xxiii). What is the focus of uncertainty and finally its resolution comes as a group or individual process? Extremism, another problematic construct, is considered as something personally and socially harmful, related to social exclusion and violence.

Dialogue with the other social sciences such as history and sociology could offer insights as to the causes of uncertainty. Creativity research and tolerance to “ambiguity” could be considered as the positive side of “uncertainty”. Certainty can also be found in various forms of domination, encouraged by authoritarian systems and exploitation and finally, extremism. How could we arrive to “constructive ideologies” (Staub in this book) and creativity instead of cognitive closure and violence?


Position Paper: Verdi, Wagner, Politics and Opera: Bicentennial Ruminations

The Position Paper of Professor Mitchell Cohen who has been visiting Professor at EPoPs during the summer 2012 is available on the following link:

The Position Paper is composed of a series of reflections on some aspects of the relation between politics and opera. It focuses on Verdi and Wagner. This year marks the bicentenary of both composers and Mitchell Cohen, a professor of political science at the City University of New York compares the political ideas in operas (and in other writings) by both composers. Both men are identified with the ideology of nationalism, but their nationalisms were radically different.

Thalia Magioglou

Scientific Responsible of EPoPs





Working Paper: conceptualisation en psychologie politique

Dans la série des Working Papers de la Fondation Maison des Sciences de l’Homme, un article qui parle du rôle de la conceptualisation en
Psychologie Politique en présentant des résultats de deux études à propos
de la démocratie dans deux contextes culturels:



Conférence sur le « féminisme et ses fantômes » le 5 Décembre

EPoPs -Programme de Psychologie Politique Européenne

et le Programme Genre Politique Sexualité

de la Fondation Maison des Sciences de l’Homme, ont le plaisir à vous inviter

le mercredi 5 Décembre à 17h30, salle 641 (6e étage)

à la Conférence du Dr. Joao Manuel de Oliveira (Centre de Psychologie, Université de Porto, Portugal) :

Le féminisme et ses fantômes

qui aura lieu au 190 avenue de France (métro quai de la gare), à la Fondation Maison des Sciences de l’Homme.


Thalia Magioglou, Christiane Veauvy

Résumé : In the past two years, I have been working on a book on gender historiography trying to make sense of the multiple entanglements between feminism and gender theory. I have used the work of Benjamin, Derrida, Foucault and lately Deleuze and Guattari to understand the way how to tell a story of gender that : (a) is not based on a epistemology of history that only celebrates the winners, (b) takes gender as a pharmakon, ie, simultaneously medicine and poison for feminism; (c) uses the genealogy of gender as way to understand relations of power embedded in discourses; (d) allows an understanding of the mutations of the concept, its deterritorializations and re-territorializations, ultimately treating gender not as a concept, but as a rhizome.

Taking into account parts of the works of these philosophers I will present the cartography of three different accounts of this de-territorialized gender coming from a Western tradition of accounting for the ontology of masculinity and femininity. Using Avery Gordon’s (2008) proposal, of a sociology of ghosts and haunting and Freud’s account of the uncanny, I will summon some ghosts of gender theory, the invert, the hermaphrodite, the transsexual and the feminist, to ground my several possible narratives using figurations and their material-semiotic contexts (Haraway, 2008).

The last part of the talk will show how these ghosts are present in the work of Judith Butler that has actively summoned these ghosts and figures and dialogued with their work, creating a unique body of work on gender studies and feminist epistemology. This work of reframing the history of gender refusing to tell it as history, but rather as a cartography of several genealogies provides a possibility of training the imagination for epistemological performance (Spivak, 2011), a basic condition to understand the promiscuity of the concept of gender and its multiple effects on feminist theory.

Summer 2012 scientific activities

Summer 2012 EPoPs wellcomed as visiting Professor, Mitchell Cohen of the CUNY, who has been working on a book that associates Political Thought and the Opera. A Position Paper that will be online at the MSH website this September, will developp more his argument.

His presence is associated with the importance « culture » as a semiotic mediation device (Valsiner, 2000) has taken for our perspective of a societal political psychology.

Dr. Thalia Magioglou



Young people’s reaction to the feeling of self-inefficacy and the role of technology towards a new kind of citizenship

Thalia Magioglou
Fondation Maison des sciences de l’homme de Paris, France
CURAPP, Université de Picardie (December 2008)

Beyond Current Horizons, 2008.

This document has been commissioned as part of the UK Department for Children, Schools and Families’ Beyond Current Horizons project, led by Futurelab.


This review paper concerns the issue of citizenship as it applies to young people, especially those who have a sense of inefficacy in the political system. Starting from a normative point of view in political philosophy, concerning the meaning of democracy, citizenship is defined as a way in which people relate to and create communities, especially as active participants, in the formation of common rules that are open to revision (Castoriadis, 1987). Citizenship is also defined as a cultural and social dimension of the self. Many studies in the last ten years have underlined the absence of younger generations from the traditional channels of participation of representative democracy (ie Haste and Hogan, 2006). Based on field work with Greek young adults, (Magioglou, 2008) but also on evidence from other European (British, French) and North-American populations, this paper takes its starting point that there is a feeling of inefficacy in the pubic sphere, but that new technologies already channel in democratic or less democratic directions (Bennett, 2008). In that sense, the role of education, state, community or groups, could be to empower young people so that they may assume responsibility for their actions in the local and global community.

Key Words: citizenship, young people, technology, autonomy, community, democracy, society, politics, and philosophy.

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The Creative Dimension of Lay Thinking in the Case of the Representation of Democracy for Greek Youth

Thalia Magioglou
Fondation Maison des sciences de l’homme, Paris, France
CURAPP, Amiens, France (December 2008)

Culture & Psychology, June 2012, 18 (2)

doi: 10.1177/1354067X08096510


This article intends to make a contribution to the study of lay thinking on democracy and proposes a theoretical framework based on the notion of the `argumentative pole’ that I have developed in my Ph.D. dissertation (Magioglou, 2005) and will be further presented in a series of articles. It focuses on the dialogical and creative dimension of lay thinking, based in a question—answer style. Argumentative poles are a number of open questions, such as `what is good?’, or what is democracy?’, `who should act?’ and `how?’, that attract different and, at times, opposing answers. The answers present a dynamic tension between an organized and an ambivalent dimension. In this article, the presentation is focused on the contradictory and ambivalent dimension of lay thinking and draws, from a theoretical point of view, on perspectives in social and cultural psychology (Bruner, 1986; Marková, 2003; Moscovici, 1976; Valsiner & Van der Veer, 2000) that attend to language and social and cultural context. This contradictory element is related to the creative character of lay thinking as a form of social thinking: bringing together ideas that do not match according to logic or ideology, which allows new combinations and new representations of democracy to appear. I present data from the narrative analysis because it led to the notion of the `argumentative pole’. The logic of the presentation is theoretical and does not follow a linear demonstrative style. It is typical of qualitative research (Flick, 2002), where the results of the data analysis inspire a `grounded’ theory that fits the research questions (Strauss, 1987).

Key Words: ambivalent thinking, argumentative pole, democracy, dialogical epistemology, lay thinking, meaning making, societal creativity.

Read full article.