Cognitive adequacy

Cognitive adequacy is a term proposed by Rein Raud as a standard of judging cultural phenomena.[1] According to this method, a cultural phenomenon is cognitively adequate if it provides the means of solving certain problems in a certain socio-cultural context. This is true even when that solution is, according to other criteria, wrong. For example, before the Great Depression in the US many people thought that it is cognitively adequate to think of getting rich quickly through land speculation. All cultural phenomena are replaced by others when they are no longer cognitively adequate. For example, when a community has embraced a new religion, or when science has displaced religion as the primary explanatory discourse for their world.


  1. ^ Raud, Rein (2016). Meaning in Action: Outline of an Integral Theory of Culture. Cambridge: Polity Books. pp. 46–48. ISBN 9781509511242.