Browse results

Flavio A. Geisshuesler

Abstract

This article proposes a 7E model of the human mind, which was developed within the cognitive paradigm in religious studies and its primary expression, the Cognitive Science of Religion (CSR). This study draws on the philosophically most sophisticated currents in the cognitive sciences, which have come to define the human mind through a 4E model as embodied, embedded, enactive, and extended. Introducing Catherine Malabou’s concept of “plasticity,” the study not only confirms the insight of the 4E model of the self as a decentered system, but it also recommends two further traits of the self that have been overlooked in the cognitive sciences, namely the negativity of plasticity and the tension between giving and receiving form. Finally, the article matures these philosophical insights to develop a concrete model of the religious mind, equipping it with three further Es, namely emotional, evolved, and exoconscious.

Stefaan Blancke, Maarten Boudry and Johan Braeckman

Abstract

Pseudoscience spreads through communicative and inferential processes that make people vulnerable to weird beliefs. However, the fact that pseudoscientific beliefs are unsubstantiated and have no basis in reality does not mean that the people who hold them have no reasons for doing so. We propose that, reasons play a central role in the diffusion of pseudoscience. On the basis of cultural epidemiology and the interactionist theory of reasoning, we will here analyse the structure and the function of reasons in the propagation of pseudoscience. We conclude by discussing the implications of our approach for the understanding of human irrationality.

Ryan Nichols, Henrike Moll and Jacob L. Mackey

Abstract

This essay discusses Cecilia Heyes’ groundbreaking new book Cognitive Gadgets: The Cultural Evolution of Thinking. Heyes’ point of departure is the claim that current theories of cultural evolution fail adequately to make a place for the mind. Heyes articulates a cognitive psychology of cultural evolution by explaining how eponymous “cognitive gadgets,” such as imitation, mindreading and language, mental technologies, are “tuned” and “assembled” through social interaction and cultural learning. After recapitulating her explanations for the cultural and psychological origins of these gadgets, we turn to criticisms. Among those, we find Heyes’ use of evolutionary theory confusing on several points of importance; alternative theories of cultural evolution, especially those of the Tomasello group and of Boyd, Richerson and Henrich, are misrepresented; the book neglects joint attention and other forms of intersubjectivity in its explanation of the origins of cognitive gadgets; and, whereas Heyes accuses other theories of being “mindblind,” we find her theory ironically other-blind and autistic in character.

Robert N. McCauley, George Graham and A. C. Reid

Abstract

The cognitive science of religions’ By-Product Theory contends that much religious thought and behavior can be explained in terms of the cultural activation of maturationally natural cognitive systems. Those systems address fundamental problems of human survival, encompassing such capacities as hazard precautions, agency detection, language processing, and theory of mind. Across cultures they typically arise effortlessly and unconsciously during early childhood. They are not taught and appear independent of general intelligence. Theory of mind (mentalizing) undergirds an instantaneous and automatic intuitive understanding of minds, mental representations, and their implications for agents’ actions. By-Product theorists hypothesize about a social cognition content bias, holding that mentalizing capacities inform participants’ implicit understanding of religious representations of agents with counter-intuitive properties. That hypothesis, in combination with Baron-Cohen’s account of Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in terms of diminished theory of mind capacities (what he calls “mind-blindness”), suggests an impaired religious understanding hypothesis. It proposes that people with ASD have substantial limitations in intuitive understanding of and creative inferences from such representations. Norenzayan argues for a mind-blind atheism hypothesis, which asserts that the truth of these first two hypotheses suggests that people with ASD have an increased probability, compared to the general population, of being atheists. Numerous empirical studies have explored these three hypotheses’ merits. After carefully pondering distinctions between intuitive versus reflective mentalizing and between explicit versus implicit measures and affective versus cognitive measures of mentalizing, the available empirical evidence provides substantial support for the first two hypotheses and non-trivial support for the third.

David W. Johnson

Abstract

One of the hallmarks of the Japanese psychiatrist and philosopher Kimura Bin’s (b. 1931) philosophical approach is the conversion of ordinary words into philosophical concepts. Here we focus on the way he appropriates the Japanese words onozukara and mizukara, ordinary terms associated, respectively, with things that occur naturally, spontaneously, or by themselves, and those that come from oneself. This re-reading of these terms as philosophical concepts furnishes an interpretive frame that brings together and makes sense of large and important concepts in philosophy and psychology such as self and nature, perception and sensation, collective subjectivity and individual subject, schizophrenia and self-realization. His appropriation of these two Japanese terms also uncovers a general and impersonal form of subjectivity that underlies our experience of ourselves as individuated subjects and stands at the center of his philosophical and psychological investigations into these phenomena.

Dōgen and Continental Philosophy

An Essay on the Powers of Thinking

Jason M. Wirth

Abstract

Continental philosophy, beginning with Kant, has found itself exposed to the abyss of reason. This crisis makes it a more ready dialogue partner with some of the Zen tradition. I explore this opening by bringing Eihei Dōgen (1200–1253) into an encounter with Continental thought, broadly construed. Rather than demonstrate how Dōgen already fits within Continental thought or re-engineering the latter so that he can fit, I argue that this encounter, already precipitated by Continental philosophy’s own acknowledgement of the felix culpa of Western philosophy’s otherwise indefensible overreach, transforms and expands the manners in which thinking counts as philosophical. This is no less than to recover a sense of philosophy as genetic and creative, rather than a shopworn tool kit of universal insights.

Eric S. Nelson

Abstract

Heidegger’s “Evening Conversation: In a Prisoner of War Camp in Russia, between a Younger and an Older Man” (1945), one of three dialogues composed by Heidegger after the defeat of National Socialist Germany published in Country Path Conversations (Feldweg-Gespräche) explores the being-historical situation and fate of the German people by turning to the early Daoist text of the Zhuangzi. My article traces how Heidegger interprets fundamental concepts from the Zhuangzi, mediated by way of Richard Wilhelm’s translation Das wahre Buch vom südlichen Blütenland (1912), such as naturalness, letting/releasement (Gelassenheit/wuwei), the unnecessary (wuyong zhi wei yong) and the useless (wuyong zhi yong) in the context of his hermeneutical and political situation. I consider to what extent this dialogue, along with his other discussions of the Zhuangzi and intensive engagement with the Daodejing from 1943 to 1950, constitute a “Daoist turn” in Heidegger’s thinking that helped shape his Postwar thought.

Hiding Between Basho and Chōra

Re-imagining and Re-placing the Elemental

Brian Schroeder

Abstract

This essay considers the relation between two fundamentally different notions of place—the Greek concept of χώρα and the Japanese concept of basho 場所—in an effort to address the question of a possible “other beginning” to philosophy by rethinking the relation between nature and the elemental. Taking up a cross-cultural comparative approach, ancient through contemporary Eastern and Western sources are considered. Central to this endeavor is reflection on the concept of the between through an engagement between, on the one hand, Plato, Martin Heidegger, Jacques Derrida, Edward Casey, and John Sallis, and on the other, Eihei Dōgen, Nishida Kitarō, and Watsuji Tetsurō.

Knowing Limits

Toward a Versatile Perspectivism with Nietzsche, Heidegger, Zhuangzi and Zen

Bret W. Davis

Abstract

This essay is about “knowing limits,” both in the sense of acknowledging the inevitable perspectival limits of our knowledge, and in the sense in which the act of knowing delimits the parameters of that which is known. Moreover, it aims to cultivate a versatile perspectivism that is ethically oriented by a capacity for ecstatic empathy rather than an egocentric will to power. The essay begins with an examination of the mind/body problem as a paradigmatic case of perspectival ambiguity, making reference to a wide range of authors. The focus of the central sections of the essay is on Nietzsche and Heidegger, while the final sections are devoted to developing a phenomenological reading of Zhuangzi and Zen. At issue throughout is the articulation of a versatile perspectivism responsive to both the demarcative and disclosive senses of knowing limits.

Metaphorical Bridges

Paul Ricoeur’s Theory of the Interanimation of Discourses for Phenomenology of Religion

Jacob Benjamins

Abstract

This study considers Paul Ricoeur’s theory of discourses within the context of a phenomenology of religion. I focus on the eighth study of La métaphore vive, wherein Ricoeur explores the possibility of interanimation between speculative and poetic discourses. While Ricoeur is willing to consider the interactions between religious and philosophical discourse in a number of essays, he does not develop the further possibility of the interanimation between religious and speculative thought. I take up this unexplored possibility by suggesting that metaphors are capable of slipping between discourses and animating speculative and religious discourses. Specifically, I use Jean-Louis Chrétien’s metaphor of “wounding” as a case study wherein the phenomenal form of paradox defines one meaning of wounding, while another meaning is connected to a poetic expression that refers to our belonging in the world. Together, the two meanings of the metaphor enliven Chrétien’s phenomenology of religion.

Roger Brooke

Abstract

Jung’s dreams about Africa reveal the Whiteness and colonialist assumptions typical of the twentieth century educated European. Jung’s visits to Africa and New Mexico, and his dreams are critically discussed, showing how, even decades later, Jung failed to use his own theory of dreaming with regard to his own dreams. The compensatory function of his dreams was never effected, and his transference fantasies of Africa and blackness were reinforced rather than analyzed. There were unfortunate consequences for the development of his thinking and his understanding of the individuation process, since his oppositional thinking in terms of White and Black remained as a concrete transference fantasy as well as a colonialist attitude towards his internal world. The Nguni term ubuntu, will be used to reimagine individuation in more explicitly ethical and socially embedded ways. With regard to the development of consciousness, a distinction is developed between the withdrawal of projections and as a helpful therapeutic issue and as an epistemological approach to the place of meaning. If Jung’s dreams of Africa had managed to “heal” him, Jungian psychology would look rather like it does today, because the way out of Jung’s Colonialism is to be found in Jung’s life and work, especially in his alchemical studies.

Andrew Samuels

Abstract

An Open Letter signed by an international and diverse group of Jungian analysts, clinicians and academics on the topic of Jung and ‘Africans’ was published in the British Journal of Psychotherapy in November, 2018. It is presented together with Notes written by Andrew Samuels.

Realizing Derealization

A Personal Case Study

Jim Kline

Abstract

Derealization is a dissociative disorder with the primary symptom of experiencing one’s surroundings as unreal, as if one were living in an elaborate dream. The disorder is usually associated with depersonalization, although according to Philip M. Coons (1996), it should not be considered a subset of depersonalization. Little research has been conducted on derealization unaccompanied by depersonalization. The following highlights a personal case study in which the characteristics of derealization are presented in an attempt to distinguish it from depersonalization and other dissociative disorders. In addition, examples of derealization from a broader perspective help distinguish it from a purely diagnostic mental symptom, thereby suggesting that it could be more of a philosophical view of life rather than a mental disorder.

Victor White OP

Defining Evil in Jungian-Christian Dialogue

Mary Stefanazzi

Abstract

Jungians and Christians use the word evil in different and contradictory senses. The moral aim of the Jungian is the ‘integration of evil’, whereas for the Christian it is ‘the overcoming of evil by good’. This paper guides the reader through Victor White’s thinking on evil—understood in the tradition of Aristotle and Aquinas as parasitic on good—malum est privatio boni, and concludes by considering the clinical significance of the relationship between moral evil—malum culpae—and guilt. Although Jung and White never resolved their differences on evil, they agreed that the subject demands concentration and careful reflection. The hypothesis here is that, although the literature on the Jung–White dialogue offers extensive analysis on evil, it does not go far enough. There is little evidence of dynamic engagement with the underlying ethical issues that White’s clarity of thought challenges one to consider.

Danièle Dehouve

Abstract

By applying diverse approaches to study the Aztec gods, light can be shed on different aspects of their personalities. In this article the cognitive theory of conceptual blending, developed by Fauconnier and Turner, is applied. In this perspective the functioning of the human mind is viewed as being grounded on the constant blending of mental spaces, a process that, in turn, makes new mental spaces emerge. After briefly reviewing the attempts to apply this theory to the ritual domain in general, I consider two types of Aztec rituals, one dedicated to the rain god Tlaloc, and the other to Xochiquetzal, the goddess of seduction. I show the importance of the compression of time in the blending process that condenses three moments: mythical time, ritual time and the immediate future. The capability of the gods to subvert the lineal passage of time and to compress past, present and future stands out as a one of the chief characteristics highlighting the advantages found by applying Blending-Theory.

Benjamin Uel Marsh, Hyun Seo Lee and Janna Schirmer

Abstract

The current study is a conceptual replication of Wang (2008) using a pretest-posttest design and an online sample through Amazon’s Mechanical Turk. Seventy-one Asian-Americans recalled a recent memory before and after being primed as either Asian or American. On pre-prime memories, conditions did not significantly differ. However, on post-prime memories, participants primed as American recalled more self-focused memories than relationally focused memories and those primed as Asian recalled more relationally focused memories than self-focused memories. In addition, memories of Asian-Americans primed as American consisted of a smaller proportion of social interaction instances than those primed as Asian. In total, 6 of the 8 effects found in Wang (2008) were replicated. We discuss the implications that the current results and past studies have on our understanding of how culture influences memory encoding and retrieval.

Rawan Charafeddine, Hugo Mercier, Takahiro Yamada, Tomoko Matsui, Mioko Sudo, Patrick Germain, Stéphane Bernard, Thomas Castelain and Jean-Baptiste Van der Henst

Abstract

Developmental research suggests that young children tend to value dominant individuals over subordinates. This research, however, has nearly exclusively been carried out in Western cultures, and cross-cultural research among adults has revealed cultural differences in the valuing of dominance. In particular, it seems that Japanese culture, relative to many Western cultures, values dominance less. We conducted two experiments to test whether this difference would be observed in preschoolers. In Experiment 1, preschoolers in France and in Japan were asked to identify with either a dominant or a subordinate. French preschoolers identified with the dominant, but Japanese preschoolers were at chance. Experiment 2 revealed that Japanese preschoolers were more likely to believe a subordinate than a dominant individual, both compared to chance and compared to previous findings among French preschoolers. The convergent results from both experiments thus reveal an early emerging cross-cultural difference in the valuing of dominance.

Siba Ghrear, Maciej Chudek, Klint Fung, Sarah Mathew and Susan A. J. Birch

Abstract

We examined the universality of the curse of knowledge (i.e., the tendency to be biased by one’s knowledge when inferring other perspectives) by investigating it in a unique cross-cultural sample; a nomadic Nilo-Saharan pastoralist society in East Africa, the Turkana. Forty Turkana children were asked eight factual questions and asked to predict how widely-known those facts were among their peers. To test the effect of their knowledge, we taught children the answers to half of the questions, while the other half were unknown. Based on findings suggesting the bias’s universality, we predicted that children would estimate that more of their peers would know the answers to the questions that were taught versus the unknown questions. We also predicted that with age children would become less biased by their knowledge. In contrast, we found that only Turkana males were biased by their knowledge when inferring their peers’ perspectives, and the bias did not change with age. We discuss the implications of these findings.

Good Gods Almighty

A Report Concerning Divine Attributes from a Global Sample

Justin L. Barrett, R. Daniel Shaw, Joseph Pfeiffer, Jonathan Grimes and Gregory S. Foley

Abstract

If “Big Gods” evolved in part because of their ability to morally regulate groups of people who cannot count on kin or reciprocal altruism to get along (Norenzayan, 2013), then powerful gods would tend to be good gods. If the mechanism for this cooperation is some kind of fear of supernatural punishment (Johnson & Bering, 2006), then we may expect that mighty gods tend to be punishing gods. The present study is a statistical analysis of superhuman being concepts from 20 countries on five continents to explore whether the goodness of a god is related to its mightiness. Gods that looked more like the God of classical theism and gods that were low in anthropomorphism were more likely to be regarded as morally good and to be the target of religious practices. Mighty gods were not, however, especially likely to punish or to be a “high god.”

Nikolay R. Rachev and Miglena Petkova

Abstract

Dual-processes theories of cognition implicitly assume universality of the human mind. However, research has shown that large-scale differences exist in thinking styles across cultures. Thereby, the universality of the effects found in Western samples remains an open empirical question. Here, we explored whether effects predicted by prospect theory, such as the framing effect, would be observed in a sample of 312 Bulgarian students. Overall, the size of the framing effect was smaller than in the original studies. Most notably, we failed to reproduce the framing effect in the famous Asian Disease problem, using a rating response format. In a between-subjects design, decision- making performance was completely independent of university admission grades. We propose that studying the size of the effects across cultures is needed in order to establish the effects’ level of universality. More broadly, we suggest ways in which knowledge of cultural settings can help elaborate or test dual-process predictions.

Makena J. Easker and Allen H. Keniston

Abstract

Research has shown that minimally counterintuitive concepts (MCI) are more memorable than concepts that are simply bizarre. However, this disparity may exist only in studies using cross-cultural samples. To test the impact of bizarreness on culturally homogeneous populations, we read a fictional narrative to 33 college-age students at a Midwestern university. This narrative featured 18 sets of target items – six which were intuitive, six which were counterintuitive, and six which were bizarre. After hearing the story, experimenters administered a written recall task. As hypothesized, students did not differ in their recall of counterintuitive or bizarre target items. Therefore, we propose a minimally distinctive model of memorability, encompassing both counterintuitiveness and bizarreness. This model may help us better understand the memorability of expectation violations, especially those within religious stories.

Michaela Porubanova

Abstract

Minimal counterintuitiveness and its automatic processing has been suggested as the explanation of persistence and transmission of cultural ideas. This purported automatic processing remains relatively unexplored. We manipulated encoding strategy to assess the persistence of memory for different types of expectation violation. Participants viewed concepts including two types of expectation violation (schema-level or domain-level) or no violation under three different encoding conditions: in the shallow condition participants focused on the perceptual attributes of the concepts, a deep condition probed their semantic meaning, and intentional remembering condition. Participants’ recall was tested immediately as well as 2 weeks later. Our findings showed the greatest memory enhancement for schema-level violations regardless of the encoding condition, while the memory for domain-level violations improved over time. These results suggest two distinct memory patterns for different types of violations, and illustrate the importance of elaborative processes in memory consolidation especially for violations to our expectations.

Turning Water into Wine

Young Children’s Conception of the Impossible

Consuelo Orozco-Giraldo and Paul L. Harris

Abstract

Young children judge that violations of ordinary, causal constraints are impossible. Yet children’s religious beliefs typically include the assumption that such violations can occur via divine agency in the form of miracles. We conducted two studies to examine this potential conflict. In Study 1, we invited 5- and 6-year-old Colombian children attending either a secular or a religious school to judge what is and is not possible. Children made their judgments either following a minimal prompt or following a reminder of God’s extraordinary powers. Irrespective of their education, and whether or not they had been reminded of God’s extraordinary powers, children systematically judged violations of ordinary, causal constraints to be impossible. In Study 2, we asked if more extensive reminders of God’s special powers would prompt religious children to say that the impossible can happen. Five- and 6-year-old Colombian children attending either a secular or a religious school were presented with narratives in which the protagonist desired an ordinarily impossible outcome. In half the stories, the protagonist prayed to God for the desired outcome. Irrespective of education and of whether the protagonist prayed, children systematically concluded that the desired outcome would not occur and justified that conclusion by reference to ordinary causal constraints. Nevertheless, in a minority of their replies children did assert that violations of ordinary causality are possible. Overall, irrespective of their religious education, young children judge that events rarely deviate from their natural course; only occasionally do they acknowledge exceptions.

Gentry R. McCreary and Joshua W. Schutts

Abstract

Hazing behaviors as a part of group initiations have been theorized to contribute to a sense of group solidarity, to ensure loyalty and commitment of group members, to teach group-relevant skills and attitudes to group members, and to reinforce the social hierarchy within groups. In a survey of members of an international college fraternity (n=2833), researchers propose and test a four-dimensional model of hazing motivation. Using exploratory factor analysis, the proposed four-factor model explains 74 percent of the overall variance and confirmatory factor analysis demonstrated acceptable model fit. Correlation and regression analysis suggested that social dominance- motivated hazing is strongly associated with hazing tolerance, moral disengagement, and a variety of measures related to organizational commitment and attachment.

Alejandro A. Vallega

Jason M. Wirth

Exordio: Towards a Hermeneutics of Liberation

Understanding Liberatory Thought Out of the Movement of Effected Historical Consciousness in Hans-Georg Gadamer

Alejandro A. Vallega

Abstract

Liberatory thought in Latin American philosophy leads to the question of the reinterpretation of historical time consciousness. In the following pages I first introduce the challenge as articulated out of Latin American thought, particularly with reference to Enrique Dussel and Aníbal Quijano, and then I develop a reinterpretation of historical time consciousness in its happening as understood through Hans-Georg Gadamer’s discussion of effected historical consciousness (Wirkungsgeschichtliches Bewußtsein) in Truth and Method. As already marked by this trajectory, this essay is not comparative, but, through a dialogue with these thinkers, seeks to rethink the temporalizing-historical movement that is historical consciousness as a possible path to engaging in and understanding liberatory philosophy.

The Verge of Silence

Gadamer on Celan and the Poetic Word

Daniel L. Tate

Abstract

Gadamer’s question “Are Poets Falling Silent?” is motivated by the “linguistic need” (Sprachnot) of modern lyric indicative of the “forgetfulness of language” (Sprachvergessenheit) that prevails today. In Paul Celan’s late work, Gadamer finds poetry that, bordering on the cryptic, stands on the verge of silence. Nevertheless, he insists that these poems do speak and that the title of Celan’s poem series, Breath-crystal, figures the truth of the poetic word. From this standpoint the paper discusses Gadamer’s hermeneutic understanding of the poetic word treating the constitutive elements of the poetic word as an event of language, the way this conception of the poetic word both embraces and yet departs from the usual understanding of the radical turn to language in modern lyric, and the meaning of Gadamer’s claim regarding the truth of the poetic word that fulfills the original saying power of language.

The Virtue of Joy

Spinoza in Jean-Luc Nancy’s Deconstruction of Christianity

Ashok Collins

Abstract

In this article, I examine the presence of Spinoza within Jean-Luc Nancy’s deconstruction of Christianity project. Although the debt Nancy owes to other philosophers such as Derrida and Heidegger has been recognized, less well known is his reliance on a Spinozist frame of reference throughout his writings on Christianity. Analyzing Nancy’s reading of key moments within the deconstruction of Christianity—the doctrines of creation ex nihilo and the incarnation—I explore how the coupling of transcendence and immanence in a Heideggerian ontological mode can be enlightened by Spinoza’s philosophy. What takes shape is a profoundly embodied and affective relationality that I argue is the central resource Nancy wishes to expose at the heart of both Christianity and the secular West.

We-Synthesis

Husserl and Henry on Empathy and Shared Life

Joseph Rivera

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is threefold: (1) To show the basic contours of transcendental subjectivity in the later work of Edmund Husserl, especially the Cartesian Meditations and the Crisis, and in the strictly phenomenological work of Michel Henry, especially Material Phenomenology; (2) to highlight Henry’s radical critique of Husserlian intersubjectivity and show that such critique, while valuable in its intention, is ultimately misguided because it neglects the important contribution Husserl’s complicated vocabulary of lifeworld makes to the study of intersubjectivity; and (3) to point toward a phenomenological conception of intersubjective practice we may call the realm of we-synthesis that prioritizes the first-person perspective rooted in empathy, which enables meaningful engagement with the second-person perspective. Working in conjunction with Husserl and Henry on the phenomenological conception of shared life enables the recuperation of the fragile line between subjectivity and intersubjectivity.

Dennis J. Schmidt

Archetypes of Knowledge

The Relevance of Jung’s Psychology of Scientific Discovery for Understanding Contemporary Technoscience

H.A.E. (Hub) Zwart

Abstract

This paper substantiates why Jung’s psychology is still highly relevant for understanding science today. I explore how his methods and insights allow us to come to terms with the phenomenon of scientific discovery. After outlining core Jungian concepts and insights concerning science, I will focus on the relationship between alchemy and modern science. Also, I will highlight Jung’s understanding of scientific research as a practice of the self, directed at individuation (the integration of various aspects of the self into a coherent whole). Finally, I discuss the role of archetypes in the context of discovery of modern science. Whereas archetypal ideas may function as sources of insight and inspiration, the task for researchers is to come to terms with them, instead of being overwhelmed by them. Besides case studies discussed by Jung himself, I also present more recent examples, taken from molecular life sciences research and climate change research.

Roula-Maria Dib

Abstract

This paper takes Jung’s essay ‘Ulysses’ as a case study in order to elucidate his opinion on the relationship between modern artists and mental insanity. The study seeks to contradict a common misconception that Jung ‘diagnoses’ modern artists such as Pablo Picasso and James Joyce with schizophrenia; instead, the paper sheds light on the cultural (not pathological) connections he makes between modern artists and art. The study examines Jung’s writings on modern art and aesthetics, aiming to dismantle some misinterpretations that might make his attitude toward them appear to be a diagnostic one. Above all, I suggest that through his reading of Ulysses, Jung shows how the feelings of confusion that arose in him can actually be reconstructive; this leads to what I would dub a ‘psychic synthesis’ through modern art. Finally, after clarifying Jung’s standpoint on modern art and insanity, this paper seeks to significantly contribute a revaluation of Jung on modernism.

Zheng Ren, Rikki H. Sargent, James D. Griffith, Lea T. Adams, Erika Kline and Jeff Hughes

Abstract

The topic of infantile amnesia, or often referred to as one’s earliest childhood memory, has been studied for more than 100 years. Recently, there have been increased efforts to examine cultural differences in earliest childhood memories. The present study recruited participants (N = 242) from Amazon’s Mechanical Turk (MT), referred to as Turkers, who were either from an individualist (United States) or collectivist (India) culture, and compared their earliest recollections. Turkers from India reported earliest recollections that were from a later age, had more social themes, had more unpleasant memories, had more specific memories, and took longer to complete the task compared to Turkers from the United States. These findings suggest that unique cultural differences may be associated with early memories, which may reflect cultural differences in the development of one’s self-concept.

Nicole Lynn Henderson and William W. Dressler

Abstract

This study examines the cognitive resources underlying the attribution of stigma in substance use and misuse. A cultural model of substance misuse risk was elicited from students at a major U.S. state university. We found a contested cultural model, with some respondents adopting a model of medical risk while others adopted a model of moral failure; agreeing that moral failure primarily defined risk led to greater attribution of stigma. Here we incorporate general beliefs about moral decision-making, assessed through Moral Foundations Theory. Specifically, we examined commitment to each moral foundation in relation to stigma attribution while controlling for the specific model of substance misuse risk. We found an interaction between the purity moral foundation and the cultural model of risk. This suggests that broad moral orientations, along with more specific understandings of substance misuse risk, combine to orient an individual with respect to stigma attribution.

Nicole Marie Summers and Falak Saffaf

Abstract

One way in which information about the unknown is socialized to children is through adult testimony. Sharing false testimony about others with children may foster inaccurate perceptions and may result in prejudicially based divisions amongst children. As part of a larger study, mothers were instructed to read and discuss an illustrated story about Arab-Muslim refugees from Syria with their 6- to 8-year-olds (n = 31). Parent-child discourse during two pages of this book was examined for how mothers used Islam as a talking point. Results indicated that only 50% of mothers and 13% of children shared accurate testimony about Islam. However, while 35% of children admitted uncertainty in their knowledge, only 3% of mothers admitted uncertainty. These results highlight the importance of parents sharing the confidence in their knowledge. If parents teach inaccurate information about other religions, it may create a greater divide between children of different religious backgrounds.

Justin P. Gregory, Tyler S. Greenway and Christina Keys

Abstract

Supernatural agent concepts are regarded as a defining trait of religion. The interaction of the minimally counterintuitive (MCI) mnemonic effect and the hypersensitive agency detection device (HADD) may be employed to explain the universal presence of concepts of gods and deities. Using the measure of free-recall, a broad model of cultural transmission investigated this pan-cultural transmission bias with a large age-representative sample (3 to 86 years; N = 764) in UK and China. Results were analyzed by four-way mixed ANOVA considering counterintuitiveness, familiarity, ontological category, and delay, and with age as a covariate. A significant interaction of counterintuitiveness × HADD was found for both UK and China samples. These findings support assertions that supernatural agent concepts are more easily transmitted than other concepts because the present study finds that concepts similar to supernatural agents were more readily recalled.

Karenleigh A. Overmann and Thomas Wynn

Abstract

Using a model of cognition as extended and enactive, we examine the role of materiality in making minds as exemplified by lithics and writing, forms associated with conceptual thought and meta-awareness of conceptual domains. We address ways in which brain functions may change in response to interactions with material forms, the attributes of material forms that may cause such change, and the spans of time required for neurofunctional reorganization. We also offer three hypotheses for investigating co-influence and change in cognition and material culture.

Rohan Kapitány and Mark Nielsen

Abstract

Rituals are able to transform ordinary objects into extraordinary objects. And while rituals typically do not cause physical changes, they may imbue objects with a particular specialness – a simple gold band may become a wedding ring, while an ordinary dessert may become a birthday cake. To treat such objects as if they were ordinary then becomes inappropriate. How does this transformation take place in the minds of observers, and how do we recognize it when we see it? Here, we suggest that two under-examined elements of ritual need deeper consideration within the context of ritual cognition. We propose a fully integrated operational definition in which these two critical ritual elements – causal opacity and goal demotion – are included. In a pre-registered experiment one-hundred and one adults, in a 2 × 2 mixed-within participants design observed actions performed upon profane objects. These actions were either ordinary (causally transparent and goal apparent) or ritualized (causally opaque and goal demoted), and were described as a blessing, a curse, or were not described at all. Contrary to established findings and pre-registered predictions, we found that ritualized actions alone are not enough to influence perceptions of, and attributions towards, objects, and that positive goal information (blessings) are more behaviorally persuasive than negative information. However, we found that participants recalled ritualized action in greater detail and with more specificity than ordinary actions. In effect, we demonstrate that causal opacity and goal information interact to allow us to recognize a ritual as a ritual.

Taner Edis and Maarten Boudry

Abstract

Judgments of the rationality of beliefs must take the costs of acquiring and possessing beliefs into consideration. In that case, certain false beliefs, especially those that are associated with the benefits of a cohesive community, can be seen to be useful for an agent and perhaps instrumentally rational to hold. A distinction should be made between excusable misbeliefs, which a rational agent should tolerate, and misbeliefs that are defensible in their own right because they confer benefits on the agent. Likely candidates for such misbeliefs are to be found in the realm of nationalism and religion, where the possession costs of true beliefs are high, and where collective beliefs in falsehoods may allow for a cohesive community. We discuss the paradoxes of reflective awareness involved in the idea of deliberately embracing falsehoods. More rigorous, fully reflective concepts of rationality would still disallow false beliefs, but such demanding versions of rationality would commit agents to pay large costs, thereby weakening the motivation for acquiring true beliefs.

Michael Moncrieff and Pierre Lienard

Abstract

Models of ethnic violence have primarily been descriptive in nature, advancing broad or particular social and political reasons as explanations, and neglecting the contributions of individuals as decision-makers. Game theoretic and rational choice models recognize the role of individual decision-making in ethnic violence. However, such models embrace a classical economic theory view of unbounded rationality as utility-maximization, with its exacting assumption of full informational access, rather than a model of bounded rationality, modeling individuals as satisficing agents endowed with evolved domain-specific competences. A newer theoretical framework hypothesizing the existence of a human coalitional psychology, an evolved domain of competence, allows us to make sense of core features of memorial narratives about ethnic violence. Qualitative data from the interviews of fifty-seven participants who were impacted by the Croatian Homeland War support expectations entailed by a coalitional psychology model of ethnic strife.

Justin L. Barrett, R. Daniel Shaw, Joseph Pfeiffer and Jonathan Grimes

Abstract

Are the places that superhuman beings purportedly act and dwell randomly or arbitrarily distributed? Inspired by theoretical work in cognitive science of religion, descriptions of superhuman beings (e.g., ancestors, demons, ghosts, gods, spirits) were solicited from informants in 20 countries on five continents, resulting in 108 usable descriptions, including information about these beings’ properties, their dwelling location, and whether they were the target of rituals. Whether superhuman beings are the subject of religious and ritual practices appeared to co-vary in relation to both features of physical geography and cognitive factors. Good gods were more likely the focus of religious practices than evil gods, and where the gods are thought to dwell mattered. If either the being was thought to dwell in a dangerous place or a resource rich place, it was more likely to have practices directed at it.

Jon Mills

Abstract

Throughout this essay I offer an adumbrated critique of recognition theory through a psychoanalytic sensibility. Contemporary recognition theory relies on an overly optimistic and intellectualized view of social relations that fails to adequately consider pathological processes inherent in human motivation, particularly those that are unconsciously mediated by collective prejudice and dysrecognition. In revisiting the Hegelian struggle for recognition, much of social reality today is mired in a collective pathos that prevents optimal mutual recognition among social collectives. Not all people are disposed, let alone capable, of recognizing the Other. We may have to contend that, in the end, recognition means tolerance of difference and not merely acceptance of one other, which could still bring about a pragmatic co-existence even if people cannot recognize each other as equals. This is largely due, I suggest, to the ontology of prejudice, attachment deficits, and the failure to adopt empathy toward alterity.

The Synthetic Cell as a Techno-scientific Mandala

a Jungian Analysis of Synthetic Biology Research

Hub A.E. Zwart

Daniela Vallega-Neu

Abstract

Comparisons between Heidegger and Merleau-Ponty’s writings on the body tend to focus on the earlier works of these philosophers, i.e. on Merleau-Ponty’s Phenomenology of Perception, and Heidegger’s Zollikon Seminars in the context of Being and Time. This paper focuses on their later works in order to show how each philosopher respectively opens venues to think the human body non-subjectively and as emerging from being, where being includes the being also of other bodies, things, or events. This thinking of bodies “from being” articulates them in terms of spatio-temporal events. The article shows that in thinking from being, both Heidegger’s and Merleau-Ponty’s accounts harbor a sense of being with a unifying force, which is tied to meaning or sense. The article ends by questioning the possibility of accounts of bodies as spatio-temporal events not bound by a unifying force of being, bodies that may carry both sense and non-sense.

Jason W. Alvis

Abstract

Although Eugen Fink often reflected upon the role religion, these reflections are yet to be addressed in secondary literature in any substantive sense. For Fink, religion is to be understood in relation to “play,” which is a metaphor for how the world presents itself. Religion is a non-repetitive, and entirely creative endeavor or “symbol” that is not achieved through work and toil, or through evaluation or power, but rather, through his idea of play and “cult” as the imaginative distanciation from a predictable lifeworld. This paper describes Fink’s understanding of religion and its most relevant aspects found in Spiel als Weltsymbol. The paper is organized into five sections—1: An introduction to his phenomenological approach in general, and description of the role of “play”; 2: investigations into the relation between play and world; 3: a description of his phenomenology of religion; 4: engagements in the idea of cult-play and the sacred sphere, and 5: reflection on his idea of the play of God.

“In an Unbounded Way”

After Kant on Genius

Andrew Benjamin

Abstract

The project of this paper is present a specific engagement with Kant’s account of genius in the Critique of the Power of Judgment. Genius is a theory of production. Moreover, once genius is linked to production (and not to a personified agent) the philosophical moves way from the centrality of both the given and the subject and thus towards the produced. Such a possibility locates Kant’s engagement with genius at the threshold between aesthetics and a philosophy of art. The latter only emerges when centrality is attributed to the object: the object as the locus of presentation. This necessitates a move beyond the cognitive. Kant on genius is therefore at that threshold, on the other side of which is Hegel.

Richard Kearney

Abstract

This essay examines the recent critical debate on the hermeneutics of hospitality. It explores the philosophical and ethical implications of Paul Ricoeur’s notion of linguistic hospitality as a translation between host and guest, enemy and friend, and compares it to Derrida’s notion of impossible hospitality.

Nothing Else Matters

Towards an Ontological Concept of the Materiality of the Earth in the Age of Global Warming

Vincent Blok

Abstract

If the world in which we are intentionally involved is threatened by climate change, this raises the question about our place on Earth. In this article, we argue that the ecological crisis we face today draws our attention to the Earth as ontic-ontological condition of our being-in-the-world. Because the Earth is often reflected upon in relation to human existence, living systems or material entities in the philosophical tradition, we argue for an ontological concept of the materiality of the Earth as un-correlated being in this article. We develop five principles of the materiality of the Earth: the conativity, non-identity, responsiveness, performativity and eventuality of the Earth. We will argue that it is this notion of Earth that matters to us in the age of global warming.

Peter Warnek

Abstract

The article takes up the question of the “truth” of images by means of a somewhat playful reflection upon our human kinship with canine life and by considering the (perhaps surprisingly) recurrent images of dogs of all shapes and sizes within the philosophical tradition. Here there is occasion to consider both Socrates and Confucius, who had a special fondness for dogs and who were at times compared to dogs themselves. The paper begins with a reading of Kant’s schematism in the First Critique, as an operation that would establish a mediating relation between the concepts of the understanding and sensible intuitions, and ends with a meditation upon the dog-themed painting, “Dark Room,” by the contemporary artist, Alan Loehle. Kant accounts for our ability to grasp that we see a dog (his example!) by introducing a mysterious distortional skewing or Verzeichnung, which as a power of the imagination is able to freely sketch what appears for it within the sensible. The sense of this Kantian skewing or sketching thereby anticipates what Heidegger names the essential Verunstaltung belonging originally to the event of truth. The last half of the paper turns to Jean-Luc Nancy’s difficult but provocative work on the abysmal ground of images and attempts to show in this way how our human kinship with canine life exposes us to what Nancy would think, following Heidegger, as the elemental strife between earth and sky.

Justin E. Lane and F. LeRon Shults

Abstract

The use of modeling and simulation (M&S) methodologies is growing rapidly across the psychological and social sciences. After a brief introduction to the relevance of computational methods for research on human cognition and culture, we describe the sense in which computer models and simulations can be understood, respectively, as “theories” and “predictions.” Most readers of JoCC are interested in integrating micro- and macro-level theories and in pursuing empirical research that informs scientific predictions, and we argue that M&S provides a powerful new set of tools for pursuing these interests. We also point out the way in which M&S can help scholars of cognition and culture address four key desiderata for social scientific research related to the themes of clarity, falsifiability, dynamicity, and complexity. Finally, we provide an introduction to the other papers that comprise this special issue, which includes contributions on topics such as the role of M&S in interdisciplinary debates, shamanism, early Christian ritual practices, the emergence of the Axial age, and the social scientific appropriation of algorithms from massively multiplayer online games.

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.

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.

Musical “Covers” and the Culture Industry

From Antiquity to the Age of Digital Reproducibility

Babette Babich

Abstract

This essay foregrounds “covers” of popular recorded songs as well as male and female desire, in addition to Nietzsche’s interest in composition, together with his rhythmic analysis of Ancient Greek as the basis of what he called the “spirit of music” with respect to tragedy. The language of “sonic branding” allows a discussion of what Günther Anders described as the self-creation of mass consumer but also the ghostly time-space of music in the broadcast world. A brief allusion to Rilke complements a similarly brief reference to Jankelevitch’s “ineffable.”

Jessica Wiskus

Abstract

Memory plays an integral role in music listening and music performance. But what specific memory structures do we employ when we engage with music? Taking Aristotle’s De memoria et reminiscentia as principle guide, I aim to press upon a matter of central interest to the phenomenologist of music, focusing on the relation between memory proper [µνήµη] and recollection [ἀνάµνησις]. Drawing upon Physics IV and De anima III, I clarify a two-fold temporal structure—a structure comprised of sensation and flowing continuity—at work in the experience of remembering. Finally, I claim that music, through the ordered expression of its successive sensations, pertains directly to ἀνάµνησις but supports access to µνήµη, as well.

Peter Hanly

Abstract

This essay considers the work of Jean-Luc Nancy on touch as a model for a conception of the musical body. More than a re-emphasizing of the tactile, though, it is possible to show that Nancy’s work enables an understanding of music as touch. The significance of this re-thinking lies in the counterweight it provides to the degradation of music entailed in its digitalized de-materialization. Hegel is seen to be complicit in this degradation.

Marcia Sá Cavalcante Schuback

Abstract

The present article proposes a reflection on the relation between music and language setting out from the experience of listening to words and listening to music. It relies to a certain extent upon an existential-phenomenological approach and develops the distinction between the sounding of sounds (sounding words) and the sound of sounding (musical sounds). From this distinction, a redefinition of rhythm is suggested based on the experience of listening and on the close listening to some pieces of music.

Δύναµις and Dasein, Ἐνέργεια and Ereignis

Heidegger’s (Re)Turn to Aristotle

Francisco J. Gonzalez

Abstract

The “destructive” appropriation of the Aristotelian concepts of δύναµις and ἐνέργεια played a central role in Martin Heidegger’s own reflection on the meaning of being. While this has been generally known for some time, it is only now that we can understand the full scope, complexity and evolving character of this appropriation. One reason is the fairly recent publication (in 2012, Gesamtausgabe 83) of notes and protocols for seminars Heidegger led on Aristotle as late as the 1940s and 1950s. Another is the existence of student transcripts in the Special Collections Department of Stanford University for a number of unpublished seminars on Aristotle that Heidegger led during the 1920s. Considering all of this material enables us to see both the significance of Heidegger’s interpretation of the δύναµις/ἐνέργιεα pair as well as how this interpretation evolved along with his own “Kehre”: from a “pandynamic” conception of being to being as “Ereignis.”

Hatice Karaslaan, Annette Hohenberger, Hilmi Demir, Simon Hall and Mike Oaksford

Abstract

Cross-cultural differences in argumentation may be explained by the use of different norms of reasoning. However, some norms derive from, presumably universal, mathematical laws. This inconsistency can be resolved, by considering that some norms of argumentation, like Bayes theorem, are mathematical functions. Systematic variation in the inputs may produce culture-dependent inductive biases although the function remains invariant. This hypothesis was tested by fitting a Bayesian model to data on informal argumentation from Turkish and English cultures, which linguistically mark evidence quality differently. The experiment varied evidential marking and informant reliability in argumentative dialogues and revealed cross-cultural differences for both independent variables. The Bayesian model fitted the data from both cultures well but there were differences in the parameters consistent with culture-specific inductive biases. These findings are related to current controversies over the universality of the norms of reasoning and the role of normative theories in the psychology of reasoning.

Alberto Acerbi and Jamshid J. Tehrani

Abstract

We experimentally investigated the influence of context-based biases, such as prestige and popularity, on the preferences for quotations. Participants were presented with random quotes associated to famous or unknown authors (experiment one), or with random quotes presented as popular, i.e. chosen by many previous participants, or unpopular (experiment two). To exclude effects related to the content of the quotations, all participants were subsequently presented with the same quotations, again associated to famous and unknown authors (experiment three), or presented as popular or unpopular (experiment four). Overall, our results showed that context-based biases had no (in case of prestige and conformity), or limited (in case of popularity), effect in determining participants’ choices. Quotations preferred for their content were preferred in general, despite the contextual cues to which they were associated. We conclude discussing how our results fit with the well-known phenomenon of the spread and success (especially digital) of misattributed quotations, and we draw some more general implications for cultural evolution research.

Jose Drost-Lopez and Alin Coman

Abstract

Listening to a speaker selectively practicing previously encoded information leads to better memory for the practiced information, but at the same time results in induced forgetting of related memories. These effects have been found to occur due to the concurrent, and covert, retrieval of information on the part of the listener. Using a modified version of the method of serial reproduction (Bartlett, 1932), this study explored the degree to which rehearsal and retrieval-induced forgetting effects propagated in 64 3-person-chains of connected participants. We manipulated the degree of concurrent retrieval from the part of the listener by activating high and low relational motivations during the listening task. We showed that the degree of propagation of retrieval-induced forgetting was larger when concurrent retrieval was activated (high-relational motivation) than when concurrent retrieval was attenuated (low-relational motivation). This study provides a framework that aims to bridge between micro-level cognitive phenomena and macro-level social dynamics.

Kalonji L.K. Nzinga and Douglas L. Medin

Abstract

A cross-cultural approach to moral psychology starts from researchers withholding judgments about universal right and wrong and instead exploring what the members of a community subjectively perceive to be moral or immoral in their local context. This study seeks to identify the moral concerns that are most relevant to listeners of hip-hop music. We use validated psychological surveys including the Moral Foundations Questionnaire (Graham, Haidt, & Nosek 2009) to assess which moral concerns are most central to hip-hop listeners. Results show that hip-hop listeners prioritize concerns of justice and authenticity more than non-listeners and deprioritize concerns of respecting authority. These results suggest that the concept of the “good person” within hip-hop culture is fundamentally a person that is oriented towards social justice, rebellion against the status quo, and a deep devotion to keeping it real. Results are followed by a discussion of the role of youth subcultures in moral socialization.

Filippo Domaneschi, Marcello Passarelli and Luca Andrighetto

Abstract

The business of a sentence is not only to describe some state of affairs but also to perform other kinds of speech acts like ordering, suggesting, asking, etc. Understanding the kind of action performed by a speaker who utters a sentence is a multimodal process which involves the computing of verbal and non-verbal information. This work aims at investigating if the understanding of a speech act is affected by the gender of the actor that produces the utterance in combination with a certain facial expression. Experimental data collected show that, as compared to men, women are less likely to be perceived as performers of orders and are more likely to be perceived as performers of questions. This result reveals a gender bias which reflects a process of women’s subordination according to which women are hardly considered as holding the hierarchical social position required for the correct execution of an order

Lawrence A. Hirschfeld

Abstract

Increasingly, psychologists have shown a healthy interest in cultural variation and a skepticism about assuming that research with North American and Northern European undergraduates provides reliable insight into universal psychological processes. Unfortunately, this reappraisal has not been extended to questioning the notion of culture central to this project. Rather, there is wide acceptance that culture refers to a kind of social form that is entity-like, territorialized, marked by a high degree of shared beliefs and coalescing into patterns of key values that animate a broad range of cultural performances and representations. Ironically, anthropologists and other scholars in cultural studies have overwhelmingly come to reject this view of culture. Arguably, then, the move in psychology to attend to cultural environments has paradoxically further distanced it from the fields most concerned with cultural forms. This essay reviews this state of affairs and offers a proposal how a more nuanced appreciation of cultural life can be articulated with theories and methods familiar and available to psychologists.

Dolichan Kollareth, Jose-Miguel Fernandez-Dols and James A. Russell

Abstract

On the assumption that shame is a universal emotion, cross-cultural research on shame relies on translations assumed to be equivalent in meaning. Our studies here questioned that assumption. In three studies (Ns, 108, 120, 117), shame was compared to its translations in Spanish (vergüenza) and in Malayalam (nanakedu). American English speakers used shame for the emotional reaction to moral failures and its use correlated positively with guilt, whereas vergüenza and nanakedu were used less for moral stories and their use correlated less with the guilt words. In comparison with Spanish and Malayalam speakers’ ratings of their translations, American English speakers rated shame and guilt to be more similar to each other.

María del Rosario Maita, Daniela Jauck, Seamus Donnelly and Olga Peralta

Abstract

This study explored whether parental directions about location differ by socioeconomic status (SES) and whether children’s performance is associated with parental spatial directions. We designed a task in which parents hid a toy in one of five identical boxes in a small-scale space, and then verbally guided their children’s search. Middle-SES (MSES) parents employed more language in general than low-SES (LSES) parents. However, groups used the same amount of spatial terms, suggesting that providing effective spatial directions is probably a matter of quality than quantity. Parents differed in the use of frames of reference; with LSES parents scarcely using them, which resulted in ambiguous reference. MSES parents showed a higher rate of person frames of reference and proximity terms, and their children performed better in the task. Our results suggest that spatial communication including person frames of reference combined with proximity information might be an effective strategy to communicate location.

Patrick McNamara, Brian Teed, Victoria Pae, Adonai Sebastian and Chisom Chukwumerije

Abstract

Purpose: To test the hypothesis that supernatural agents (SAs) appear in nightmares and dreams in association with evidence of diminished agency within the dreamer/dream ego.

Methods: Content analyses of 120 nightmares and 71 unpleasant control dream narratives.

Results: We found that SAs overtly occur in about one quarter of unpleasant dreams and about half of nightmares. When SAs appear in a dream or nightmare they are reliably associated with diminished agency in the dreamer. Diminished agency within the dreamer occurs in over 90% of dreams (whether nightmares or unpleasant dreams) that have overt SAs. In about half of nightmare reports the SA appears suddenly with no clear emergence pattern. In some two thirds of unpleasant dreams, however, the SA emerged from a human character. The SA’s gender was indeterminate in most dreams with SAs but the SA communicated with the dreamer in 24% of nightmares and only 13% of unpleasant dreams. In most nightmares, the SA intended to harm the dreamer and in one third of nightmares the dreamer was the victim of physical agression by the SA. SA intentions in unpleasant dreams were more varied and actually benign in 13% of cases.

Conclusion: Supernatural agents reliably appear in nightmares and unpleasant dreams in association with diminished agency in the dreamer. Diminished agency in an individual may facilitate supernatural agent cognitions.

Why Was the Color Violet Rarely Used by Artists before the 1860s?

A Descriptive Summary and Potential Explanation

Allen Tager

Abstract

Although the color violet is now used in a wide variety of everyday products, ranging from toys to clothing to cars, and although it now appears commonly in artistic works, violet was rarely used in fine art before the early 1860s. The color violet only became an integral part of modern culture and life with the rise of the French Impressionists. I investigated the use of violet in over 130,000 artworks prior to 1863 and found that it appeared in about .06 percent of the paintings. Violet was used substantially more frequently in Impressionist works, and remains popular in fine art and in popular culture today. I examine several explanations for the explosion of the use of violet in the art world during the Impressionist era, and conclude that a cognitive-perceptual explanation, based on the heightened sensitivity of the Impressionists to short wavelengths, may account for it. The findings fit with a new understanding about evolutionary changes in planetary light and human adaptation to light.

Robert Tyminski

ABSTRACT

Analysts have been concerned for decades about the unforeseen psychological impacts of technology. The rapid developments during the past 15 years have brought issues related to cyberspace front and center in analysis and psychotherapy. A specific question arises: what is happening to our capacity for relating openly? We now regularly see “screen time” being used 1) defensively to retreat and escape, 2) compulsively to gratify urges and impulses, and 3) addictively to quench emotional cravings. Problems with limits and recognition of separation confound the positive aspects of cyberspace. Vulnerable egos may not even realize when escapism turns into addiction. Soul can become lost in these activities, when relationships are instead transactional and technology is regarded as numinous. A case example from the author’s practice and another from the media highlight the great risks for soul in this realm of cyberspace.

Jon Mills

ABSTRACT

C. G. Jung never offered a formalized system of ethics, but his analytical psychology is teeming with ethical pronouncements. Jung’s ethical theories are introduced and explored in relation to a book written by Dan Merkur centering on the question of morality in human nature, the individuation process, and in psychotherapeutic treatment. Jung struggled to provide a dialectical account of human valuation, yet this is implied in the very process of overcoming oppositions through the negotiation and integration of differences, and in holding balances between internal and external conflicts. The psychologicalization of ethics, particularly the compensatory function of the unconscious, ensures that moral psychology is fraught with ambivalence, uncertainty, and competing dilemmas that are unique to each person, hence no formal or rational system of deontological ethics is possible.

Andrew Samuels

ABSTRACT

This paper is written in the context of a debate within the Jungian clinical and academic communities on whether or not some kind of public statement is required concerning Jung’s writings about ‘Africans’, persons of colour and indigenous people. The author eschews argument in favour of such a public statement, opting instead for a ‘forensic’ discussion of the reasons why it is not a good plan to issue such a statement. By so doing, he creates a level playing field in which the ‘pros’ and ‘cons’ of a public statement may attract equal attention.

John Beebe

ABSTRACT

The author, reviewing a book on Jung’s moral psychology by the psychoanalyst Dan Merkur, concludes that Jung’s idea of a divergence in aim between conscious and unconscious creates in the psyche a conflict of duties, toward the ego and its persona, on the one hand, and toward the self and its soul, on the other. An individual mind can reconcile this conflict only by ethical position-taking, which is arrived at through moral effort that fosters a growth of consciousness but is never without ambivalence and uncertainty as to the principles that have informed it. Jung’s idea that the unconscious is there to compensate for any ethical position taken by the conscious mind is echoed by contemporary psychoanalytic notions of collaboration between superego and ego in producing moral stances. Merkur is praised for recognizing Jung’s priority at countering Freud’s position that the unconscious cannot think about the ethical conflicts that are experienced by the ego.

Robert A. Segal

ABSTRACT

In Jung’s Ethics, Dan Merkur, a psychoanalyst in Toronto and the author of many books on the Inuit, psychoanalytic theory, mysticism, and drug-induced religious experience, here writes for the first time on Jungian psychology. Merkur is not abandoning Freud for Jung. A Freudian he remains. But he seeks to contrast Jung positively to Freud. Merkur draws scores of contrasts. Some of them are already known, some not. But even when the contrasts are known, Merkur illuminates them. He is especially concerned with the difference between Freud and Jung on the relationship of psychology to religion. Where Freud seeks to replace religion by psychology, Jung seeks to make psychology itself religious. Whether Jung in fact succeeds in tying psychology so tightly to religion, as Merkur contends, is considered.

Angela Connolly