Journal of Cognitive Historiography http://journal.equinoxpub.com/JCH <p><em><span lang="EN-US">The Journal of Cognitive Historiography</span></em>&nbsp;is the first peer-reviewed publication for research concerned with the interactions between history, historiography, and/or archaeology and cognitive theories.</p> Equinox Publishing Ltd. en-US Journal of Cognitive Historiography 2051-9672 The “What is…?” Issue http://journal.equinoxpub.com/JCH/article/view/13267 Leonardo Ambasciano Nickolas P. Roubekas Copyright (c) 2019 Equinox Publishing Ltd. 2019-10-14 2019-10-14 4 2 133 135 10.1558/jch.38863 What is Cognitive Historiography, Anyway? Method, Theory, and a Cross-Disciplinary Decalogue http://journal.equinoxpub.com/JCH/article/view/13269 <p>This contribution offers a tentative systemization of different strands of method and theory in the sub-field of cognitive historiography in the form of a decalogue and 30 reflections. The primary aim is to clarify the role of both interdisciplinary collaboration and cross-disciplinary integration. The secondary goal is to provide interested readers, colleagues, and young researchers from a wide range of different academic branches across the two cultures with a crash course and a protocol to basic collaborative research. An indicative and essential bibliography is also provided. This introductory opinion piece is open for further comments, additions, suggestions, and discussions.</p> Leonardo Ambasciano Copyright (c) 2019 Equinox Publishing Ltd. 2019-10-14 2019-10-14 4 2 136 150 10.1558/jch.38759 The Tangled Cultural History of the Axial Age http://journal.equinoxpub.com/JCH/article/view/13282 <p>Jan Assmann’s <em>Achsenzeit </em>is the most thorough presentation of thinkers who reflected on the Axial Age available today. Although the label ‘Axial Age’ was coined by Karl Jaspers in 1946, other scholars had touched upon the issue as early as 1771. From the beginning, socio-historical analyses rested on a presentist framework according to which the Axial Age was interpreted as a positive historical legacy that could be exploited to make up for the deficiencies of the present. Achsenzeit excels in the discussions covering the time span from Anquetil-Duperron to Vögelin (1975), but it disappoints in relation to current debates. Unfortunately, Assmann’s book ignores contemporary gene-culture co-evolutionary perspectives, as well as current research which argues for the convergent evolution of axial-age societies based on increased affluence, enhanced urbanization processes, and higher population density. These criticisms aside, the book is indispensable for the necessary knowledge of the pre-2000s discussion on the topic, and it is a highly pleasurable read.&nbsp;</p> Anders Klostergaard Petersen Copyright (c) 2019 Equinox Publishing Ltd. 2019-10-16 2019-10-16 4 2 257 271 10.1558/jch.38766 Rivers of Knowledge http://journal.equinoxpub.com/JCH/article/view/13278 <p>Ancient stories recalling memorable events can be demonstrated as enduring in recognizable form in oral (non-literate or pre-literate) cultures for several millennia. As explained in the author’s 2018 book, <em>The Edge of Memory</em> (Bloomsbury, London), some of the most compelling of these stories are those recalling coastal ‘drowning’, interpreted in most instances as recalling the rise of sea level following the end of the last Ice Age; some of these stories from Aboriginal Australia can be given minimum ages of 7000-10,000 years ago. Examples are also given of ancient stories from Australia and elsewhere that recall volcanic eruptions and meteorite falls, both of which can be dated with some degree of certainty. This paper extends the arguments in <em>The Edge of Memory</em> to an analysis of stories that appear to recall people’s responses to rising sea level more than seven millennia ago and allow insights into their thinking. It seems clear that today, confronted by a similar phenomenon, we can learn from the actions of our distant ancestors.</p> Patrick Nunn Copyright (c) 2019 Equinox Publishing Ltd. 2019-10-14 2019-10-14 4 2 223 241 10.1558/jch.38214 Evolution, Cognition, and Horror http://journal.equinoxpub.com/JCH/article/view/13280 <p>Why are people attracted to scary entertainment, to stories and leisure activities designed to evoke negative emotion? How does such entertainment work, and why does it work? Why do we respond with genuine fear to flickering light on a screen? Why do our stories brim with danger and horror and monsters, sometimes far-fetched and utterly implausible monsters? The culmination of that research, so far, is my 2017 monograph <em>Why Horror Seduces</em>. In this article, I will introduce that work, which is the first book-length study of horror from an evolutionary perspective. After a brief introduction to the subject matter, I explain the main theoretical assumptions of the book. I then give a few examples of evolutionary horror theory in analytical and interpretative practice and offer some considerations on the adaptive function of horror. Finally, I reflect on the challenges and benefits of interdisciplinary work and point the way toward future studies.&nbsp;</p> Mathias Clasen Copyright (c) 2019 Equinox Publishing Ltd. 2019-10-16 2019-10-16 4 2 242 256 10.1558/jch.37083 A Darwinian Pilgrim’s Early Progress http://journal.equinoxpub.com/JCH/article/view/13271 <p>Part one of three in an autobiographical series which retraces the most significant events, collaborations, and research results of Michael Ruse’s 55-year-long career in the history and philosophy of science. In this article, Ruse’s Quaker roots, his subsequent loss of faith, and the first engagement with the study of natural science are recalled before delving deeper into his academic career. The main topics summarized in this walkthrough are considered chronologically as they developed: the epistemological demonstration that the Darwinian theory was not a narrative, or inferior, kind of science but a full-fledged, consilient research programme founded on genetics (early 1970s); the history of teleology in biological thought (mid-1970s); the sociobiology controversy (late 1970s); the so-called debunking argument and the is-ought fallacy (early 1980s).</p> Michael Ruse Copyright (c) 2019 Equinox Publishing Ltd. 2019-10-14 2019-10-14 4 2 151 164 10.1558/jch.37782 A Darwinian Pilgrim's Middle Progress http://journal.equinoxpub.com/JCH/article/view/13273 <p>Part two of three in an autobiographical series which retraces the most significant events, collaborations, and research results of Michael Ruse’s 55-year-long career in the history and philosophy of science. In this article, Ruse’s first forays into philosophy are intertwined with his growing interest in the history of science. The main topics summarized in this second installment are considered thematically as they developed: “design” as a Kuhnian paradigm in the history of evolutionary biology (from the early 1970s onwards); the involvement in the McLean v. Arkansas Board of Education 1981 legal case which saw the rise of neo-creationism as organized pressure group; the exploration of the science-religion relationship (mid-1980s to 1990s); the problem of free will and the critical confrontation with the New Atheism (early 2000s); the question of accommodationism and the identification of “organism” as the root metaphor of evolutionary biology (2010s).</p> Michael Ruse Copyright (c) 2019 Equinox Publishing Ltd. 2019-10-14 2019-10-14 4 2 165 179 10.1558/jch.37783 A Darwinian Pilgrim's Late Progress http://journal.equinoxpub.com/JCH/article/view/13275 <p>This is the final part of an autobiographical series which retraces the most significant events, collaborations, and research results of Michael Ruse’s 55-year-long career in the history and philosophy of science. In this installment, Ruse’s increasing engagement with historiography leads him to rethink and tackle the role of values in science. The intertwined topics summarized here are considered as they developed between the 1990s and the 2010s: the mediation between empiricism and social constructivism; the historical study of the idea of qualitative, biological “progress” in evolutionary biology as drawn from coeval social ideas; the paradox according to which “progress” is formally eschewed and yet implicitly present in modern evolutionary biology; the development of evolutionary biology from pseudoscience tied to social progress to popular science to full-fledged professional science; Darwinism as hopeful, progressive “religion” contrasted with progress-less Darwinian theory; meaning in a Darwinian world, and the development of a Darwinian existentialism.</p> Michael Ruse Copyright (c) 2019 Equinox Publishing Ltd. 2019-10-14 2019-10-14 4 2 180 198 10.1558/jch.37784 Shadows in the New Testament http://journal.equinoxpub.com/JCH/article/view/13277 <p>This article treats the roughly half dozen instances of shadows in the Christian New Testament using evolutionary-cognitive approaches and understandings. This literary-historical data set generally conforms to predictions from cognitive science in two ways. First, shadows stimulate cognitive interest due to their evolutionary ties to predation and humans as both prey species and hunter. Second, shadows fortify the status of supernatural agents due to shadows’ uncertain and shifting boundaries, which lend themselves to agency attribution. Additional discussion theorizes shadows as a type of object particularly related to religious beliefs, due to shadows’ particular set of characteristics that differ from standard folk ontologies. This unique typology is shared with certain other objects likewise possessing outsize presence in religious history such as clouds, flame, and smoke.</p> Paul Robertson Copyright (c) 2019 Equinox Publishing Ltd. 2019-10-14 2019-10-14 4 2 199 222 10.1558/jch.35292 Risto Uro, <i>Ritual and Christian Beginnings: A Socio-Cognitive Analysis</i> http://journal.equinoxpub.com/JCH/article/view/13284 <div>Risto Uro, <em>Ritual and Christian Beginnings: A Socio-Cognitive Analysis </em>(Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016). 230 pp. £55 (hbk). ISBN: 978-0-19966-117-6.</div> Luca Arcari Copyright (c) 2017 Equinox Publishing Ltd. 2019-10-14 2019-10-14 4 2 272 276 10.1558/jch.36616 Hugo Mercier and Dan Sperber, <i>The Enigma of Reason</i> http://journal.equinoxpub.com/JCH/article/view/13285 <div>Hugo Mercier and Dan Sperber, <em>The Enigma of Reason</em> (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2017). 396 pp. $29.95 (hbk). ISBN: 978-0-67436-830-9.</div> Bryon Cunningham Copyright (c) 2019 Equinox Publishing Ltd. 2019-10-14 2019-10-14 4 2 277 282 10.1558/jch.37950 Jonathan Kane, Emily Willoughby and T. Michael Keese, <i>God’s Word or Human Reason? An Inside Perspective on Creationism</i> http://journal.equinoxpub.com/JCH/article/view/13289 <div>Jonathan Kane, Emily Willoughby and T. Michael Keese, <em>God’s Word or Human Reason? An Inside Perspective on Creationism</em> (Portland: Inkwater Press, 2016). 389 pp. $39.95 (hbk). ISBN: 978-1-62901-372-5.</div> Stefaan Blancke Copyright (c) 2019 Equinox Publishing Ltd. 2019-10-14 2019-10-14 4 2 283 285 10.1558/jch.37809 Walter Scheidel, ed., The Science of Roman History: Biology, Climate, and the Future of the Past http://journal.equinoxpub.com/JCH/article/view/13291 <div>Walter Scheidel, ed., <em>The Science of Roman History: Biology, Climate, and the Future of the Past</em> (Princeton, NJ and Oxford: Princeton University Press, 2018), 280 pp. £27.00/$35.00 (hbk). ISBN: 978-0-69116-256-0.</div> Tomáš Glomb Copyright (c) 2019 Equinox Publishing Ltd. 2019-10-14 2019-10-14 4 2 286 288 10.1558/jch.37092 Luther H. Martin and Donald Wiebe, eds, <i>Religion Explained? The Cognitive Science of Religion after Twenty-Five Years</i> http://journal.equinoxpub.com/JCH/article/view/13292 <div>Luther H. Martin and Donald Wiebe, eds, <em>Religion Explained? The Cognitive Science of Religion after Twenty-Five Years</em> (London and New York: Bloomsbury, 2017), xi + 260 pp. $102.60 (hbk). ISBN: 978-1-35003-246- 0; $39.95 (pbk). ISBN: 978-1-35010-592-8; $102.60 (PDF eBook). ISBN: 978-1-35003-247-7.</div> Jennifer Larson Copyright (c) 2019 Equinox Publishing Ltd. 2019-10-14 2019-10-14 4 2 289 292 10.1558/jch.37301 Joëlla Proust and Martin Fortier, <i>Metacognitive Diversity: An Interdisciplinary Approach</i> http://journal.equinoxpub.com/JCH/article/view/13302 <div>Joëlla Proust and Martin Fortier, <em>Metacognitive Diversity: An Interdisciplinary Approach</em> (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018), 464 pp. £60.00 (hbk). ISBN: 978-0-19878-971-0.</div> Cory Marie Stade Copyright (c) 2019 Equinox Publishing Ltd. 2019-10-14 2019-10-14 4 2 293 295 10.1558/jch.36805 Robert N. McCauley with E. Thomas Lawson,<i> Philosophical Foundations of the Cognitive Science of Religion: A Head Start</i> http://journal.equinoxpub.com/JCH/article/view/13304 <p>Robert N. McCauley with E. Thomas Lawson,<em> Philosophical Foundations of the Cognitive Science of Religion: A Head Start</em> (London and New York: Bloomsbury, 2017), 184 pp. £85.00 (hbk). ISBN: 978-1-35003-031- 2. £28.99 (pbk) ISBN: 978-1-35010-586-7. £91.80 (ePUB/kindle) ISBN: 978-1-35003-033-6. £91.80 (PDF) ISBN: 978-1-35003-032-9.</p> Konrad Talmont-Kaminski Copyright (c) 2019 Equinox Publishing Ltd. 2019-10-14 2019-10-14 4 2 296 297 10.1558/jch.37751