Journal of Cognitive Historiography <p><em><span lang="EN-US">The Journal of Cognitive Historiography</span></em> is the first peer-reviewed publication for research concerned with the interactions between history, historiography, and/or archaeology and cognitive theories. <a href="">Read more about the journal</a>.</p> en-US [email protected] (Irene Salvo) [email protected] (Ailsa Parkin) Sat, 24 Dec 2022 00:00:00 +0000 OJS 60 If not Now, When? Reclaiming Academic Journals as a Space of Kindness Irene Salvo Copyright (c) 2022 Journal of Cognitive Historiography Sat, 24 Dec 2022 00:00:00 +0000 The Highs and the Lows of Construal Level Theory in the Community Rule from the Dead Sea Scrolls <p>This article applies Construal Level Theory (CLT) on the ancient Jewish text the Community Rule (1QS), from the Dead Sea Scrolls. CLT, a theory developed within social and cognitive psychology, operates with the association between mental construals (high- or low-level) and psychological distance (spatial, temporal, social, or hypothetical). CLT proposes that the human mind’s ability to traverse the “here-and-now” is dependent on the interaction between levels of construal and psychological distance. High-level construals are abstract, general, and superordinate representations of things (i.e. the why, the end-state), while low-level construals are concrete, specific, and subordinate representations (i.e. the how, the means). Reading 1QS through the lens of CLT reveals one possible way in which this ancient text strives to persuade its potential recipients to act according to its ultimate goal by combining different modes of expression.</p> Melissa Sayyad Bach Copyright (c) 2022 Journal of Cognitive Historiography Sat, 24 Dec 2022 00:00:00 +0000 Introduction <p>.</p> Jed Forman Copyright (c) 2022 Journal of Cognitive Historiography Sat, 24 Dec 2022 00:00:00 +0000 Perhaps an Other Time <p>In this article it is argued that conceptions of time have important cognitive and behavioural effects on historical agents, and that in ancient China at least one such conception tied fundamentally with the traditional Chinese calendar, the Stems and Branches system, is significantly different than the worldwide dominant modern conception of time in ways that deserve wider acknowledgement and exploration. The article relies on cognitive science literature, Takayama’s method of uncovering ancient cognition, and Bradd Shore’s Cultural Models Theory, to make its case. By examining the underlying qualitative and calculative structures of the calendar(s) in use by the humans we study, we can begin to see just how potentially different these views of time were and are in ways so fundamental to being in the world as to warrant new (re)considerations of historical actors cognizing about in and about their respective conceptual frameworks of time and the behaviours they engage in as a consequence.</p> Julia McClenon Copyright (c) 2022 Journal of Cognitive Historiography Sat, 24 Dec 2022 00:00:00 +0000 Seeing Afar <p>“Piercing gazes” or “penetrative stares” are common idioms in English. Yet, on reflection, these phrases oddly suggest an extramissive, projective connotation of vision, countering our learned understanding that sight passively receives light. Nevertheless, these projective connotations are highly intuitive. Exploring Indian debates on yogic perception through a cognitive science lens, this paper argues that extramissive theories of sight constitute our most basic intuitive understanding of vision. Yogis are said to have extra powerful extramissive visual rays that allow them not only to apprehend distant objects but penetrate spiritual truths. Buddhists, by contrast, reject that the senses are extramissive. Still, they retain extramissive connotations when they explain yogic perception as a type of mental—rather than sensorial—feat. The explicit Buddhist rejection of extramission alongside their implicit retention of extramissive metaphors corroborates the thesis that extramission was highly intuitive within an ancient Indic milieu. Indeed, it likely constitutes a pan-human intuition.</p> Jed Forman Copyright (c) 2022 Journal of Cognitive Historiography Sat, 24 Dec 2022 00:00:00 +0000 Investigating and Contextualizing Dramaturgical Perspectives <p>Believing that “all the world’s a stage” exemplifies using theater as a metaphor for life, also known as a dramaturgical perspective (DP). This project examines DPs in two historical contexts—contemporary psychological research, and the work of medieval Indian philosopher and literary theorist Abhinavagupta. Recent psychological research suggests that viewing oneself as “acting out a part” protects against social threats, but can simultaneously be alienating. Abhinavagupta posits that recognizing performativity can aestheticize life in a way that offers freedom from reified notions of self and other. This divergence suggests that DPs are entwined with cultural contexts. To test this, we examined the association of cultural orientations with responses to the DP among US emerging adults (N = 1146). Cultural variables were associated with DP endorsement, and with a key component of associations between DP endorsement and distress: feelings of inauthenticity. The discussion focuses on salient socio-cultural dimensions of DP operation.</p> Roman Palitsky, Isaac F Young, Ben Williams Copyright (c) 2022 Journal of Cognitive Historiography Sat, 24 Dec 2022 00:00:00 +0000 “Big Gods” in Ancient Mesopotamia <p>According to the Big Gods Theory, religions with beliefs in moralizing supernatural agents were culturally selected because they enhanced in-group cooperation during intergroup competition and conflict (e.g. Norenzayan 2013). According to the supernatural punishment hypothesis (SPH), this was possible because such agents were culturally represented as punitive and wrathful (e.g. Shariff and Norenzayan 2011). These gods activated reputational concerns, fears of punishment, and social compliance among believers. I examine evidence for the SPH from ancient Mesopotamia based on the cultural evolution of beliefs in the god Marduk. I argue that, contrary to the SPH, Marduk and other ancient Mesopotamian gods were often imagined to be both punitive and benevolent. I examine potential psychological and ecological factors involved in the cultural transmission of beliefs in these supernatural protectors alternative to those proposed by the SPH. I raise general questions concerning collecting and interpreting big data as evidence for Big Gods.</p> Karolina Prochownik Copyright (c) 2022 Journal of Cognitive Historiography Sat, 24 Dec 2022 00:00:00 +0000 Fear and Terror in Buddhist Meditation <p>This article explores the extent to which cognitive historiography can be employed to comment on debates concerning the interpretation of meditative experiences in select Buddhist texts. In particular, this article considers references to meditation-related fear and other associated emotional, perceptual, and cognitive changes. Qualitative data from Western Buddhist meditation practitioners and meditation teachers are employed to further illustrate the range of fear-related experiences and how they are interpreted. To account for why certain references to fear in Buddhist literature could plausibly be read as representative of meditation-related experiences, this article develops cognitive models based on neuroscientific research on meditation as well as from cognitive and affective neuroscience more broadly. However, this process reveals some current limitations in the field of neuroscience of meditation as well as other methodological difficulties faced by cognitive historiography when attempting to account for religious experiences from other cultures and from distant times.</p> Jared R Lindahl, Willoughby B Britton, David J Cooper Copyright (c) 2022 Journal of Cognitive Historiography Sat, 24 Dec 2022 00:00:00 +0000 Cognitive Historiography <p>The essays in this issue of the Journal of Cognitive Historiography explore a variety of developing methodologies in the field, taking us on a tour through a range of cognitive and cultural contexts in East and South Asia, the Middle East, and modern America. Although there are a number of ways to consider the goals of cognitive historiography, the essays in this issue are all engaged in a scholarly pursuit of historical minds, seeking to uncover the deep and nuanced cognitive processes at play in different historical and cultural contexts. The essays include an exploration of ancient Chinese calendrical models and the experience of time, consideration of yogic perceptions and construals of vision and spatiality, applications of the “world as theatre” metaphor of the Hindu polymath Abhinavagupta, an evaluation of the punitive and benevolent qualities of gods in ancient Mesopotamia, and using neuroscience to study the affective responses of fear and terror in Buddhist meditation.</p> Glen Alexander Hayes Copyright (c) 2022 Journal of Cognitive Historiography Sat, 24 Dec 2022 00:00:00 +0000