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Andreas Tolk, Wesley J. Wildman, F. LeRon Shults and Saikou Y. Diallo

Abstract

The social sciences and humanities are fragmented into specialized areas, each with their own parlance and procedures. This hinders information sharing and the growth of a coherent body of knowledge. Modeling and simulation can be the scientific lingua franca, or shared technical language, that can unite, integrate, and relate relevant parts of these diverse disciplines.

Models are well established in the scientific community as mediators, contributors, and enablers of scientific knowledge. We propose a potentially revolutionary linkage between social sciences, humanities and computer simulation, forging what we call “human simulation.” We explore three facets of human simulation, namely: (1) the simulation of humans, (2) the design of simulations for human use, and (3) simulations that include humans as well as simulated agents among the actors. We describe the potential of human simulation using several illuminating examples. We also discuss computational, epistemological, and hermeneutical challenges constraining the use of human simulation.

William Sims Bainbridge

Abstract

Massively multiplayer online (MMO) games are not merely electronic communication systems based on computational databases, but also include artificial intelligence that possesses complex, dynamic structure. Each visible action taken by a component of the multi-agent system appears simple, but is supported by vastly more sophisticated invisible processes. A rough outline of the typical hierarchy has four levels: (1) interaction between two individuals, each either human or artificial, (2) conflict between teams of agents who cooperate with fellow team members, (3) enduring social-cultural groups that seek to accomplish shared goals, and (4) large-scale cultural traditions, often separated into virtual geographic regions. In many MMOs, both magic and religion are represented, in ways that harmonize with a social-scientific theory that defines them in terms of specific versus general psychological compensators. This article draws empirical examples from five diverse MMOs: Dark Age of Camelot, Dungeons and Dragons Online, World of Warcraft, A Tale in the Desert and Gods and Heroes.

Vojtěch Kaše, Tomáš Hampejs and Zdeněk Pospíšil

Abstract

This article introduces an agent-based and a system-dynamics model investigating the cultural transmission of frequent collective rituals. It focuses on social function and cognitive attraction as independently affecting transmission. The models focus on the historical context of early Christian meals, where various theoretically inspiring trends in cultural transmission of rituals can be observed. The primary purpose of the article is to contribute to theorizing about cultural transmission of rituals by suggesting a clear operationalization of their social function and cognitive attraction. Furthermore, the article challenges recent trends in the field by providing a theoretically feasible model for how, under certain conditions, cognitive attraction can influence the transmission to a relatively greater extent than social function. In the system dynamics model we reproduce the results of our agent-based model while putting some of our basic operational assumptions under scrutiny. We consider approaching social function and cognitive attraction in isolation as a preliminary but necessary step in the process of creating more complex models of the cultural selection of rituals, where the two aspects will be combined to produce ritual forms with greater correspondence to real-world religious rituals.

F. LeRon Shults, Wesley J. Wildman, Justin E. Lane, Christopher J. Lynch and Saikou Diallo

Abstract

Debates over the causes and consequences of the “Axial Age” – and its relevance for understanding and explaining “modernity” – continue to rage within and across a wide variety of academic disciplines, including anthropology, sociology, archaeology, history, social theory, and cognitive science. We present a computational model that synthesizes three leading theories about the emergence of axial civilizations. Although these theories are often treated as competitors (especially by their proponents), our computational model shows how their most important conceptual insights and empirically based causal claims can be integrated within a single computational architecture. The plausibility of the latter is supported by the results of our simulation experiments, which were able to simulate the emergence and growth of an axial civilization. The model shows how the relevant theories can be rendered consistent, while challenging the claims of any one to comprehensiveness.

Connor Wood, Saikou Diallo, Ross Gore and Christopher J. Lynch

Abstract

Religious practices centered on controlled trance states, such as Siberian shamanism or North African zar, are ubiquitous, yet their characteristics vary. In particular, cross-cultural research finds that female-dominated spirit possession cults are common in stratified societies, whereas male-dominated shamanism predominates in structurally flatter cultures. Here, we present an agent-based model that explores factors, including social stratification and psychological dissociation, that may partially account for this pattern. We posit that, in more stratified societies, female agents suffer from higher levels of psychosocial trauma, whereas male agents are more vulnerable in flatter societies. In societies with fewer levels of formal hierarchy, males come into informal social competition more regularly than in stratified contexts. This instability leads to a cultural feedback effect in which dissociative experiences deriving from chronic psychosocial stress become canalized into a male religious trance role. The model reproduces these patterns under plausible parameter configurations.

Series:

Edited by Andrew Kuzmicki and Ilona Błocian

The book is a volume of the collected works of sixteen different authors. They reflect the contemporary meaning of C. G. Jung’s theory on many fields of scientific activity and in a different cultural context: Japanese, South American and North American, as well as European: English, Italian and Polish. The authors consider a specific milieu of Jung’s theory and his influence or possible dialogue with contemporary ideas and scientific activity. A major task of the book will be to outline the contemporary—direct or indirect—usefulness and applicability of Jung's ideas at the beginning of the twenty-first century while simultaneously making a critical review of this theory.

Mark J. Thomas

Abstract

The success of the early music movement raises questions about performing historical works: Should musicians perform on period instruments and try to reconstruct the original style? If a historically “authentic” performance is impossible or undesirable, what should be the goal of the early music movement? I turn to Gadamer to answer these questions by constructing the outlines of a hermeneutics of early music performance. In the first half of the paper, I examine Gadamer’s critique of historical reconstruction and argue that this critique sheds light on mistaken tendencies and misunderstandings within the early music movement, but it does not discredit the movement as such. In the second half of the paper, I attempt to show how Gadamer’s dialogical account of historical consciousness provides a framework for understanding what historically informed performance is seeking to accomplish, as well as its advantage over a Nietzschean approach.

Intangible Matters

On Color and Sound in Art (James Turrell, Morton Feldman)

Günter Figal

Abstract

This paper is on matter and on art. Based on the assumption that the everyday attitude toward the world is a kind of materialistic realism and that philosophers, from the beginning of philosophy on, have objected to the plausibility of epistemological reliance on matter, I make attempts to investigate what matter is. I suggest doing this in reference to art. In particular I discuss works of art representing kinds of matter so extraordinary that their material character even could be doubted: light and sound. An installation by James Turrell and a piece of music composed by Morton Feldman, Rothko Chapel, function as paradigms to demonstrate the material character of light and sound and also the affinity of matter to space. Having qualities, matter proves to be different from space; being amorphous, however, matter as such has no distinct appearance, but, like space, enables appearance.