SFI Seminar: Celestial Events, Conceptual Metaphors and Myth

W. Bruce Masse

SFI News:

3:30 p.m. • Tuesday, Feb. 18 • Collins Conference Room • 1399 Hyde Park Road • Santa Fe

W. Bruce Masse will discuss Celestial Events, Conceptual Metaphors and Myth: 
Their Role in the Development of Human Cognition at this week’s SFI Seminar.

Abstract: This talk examines the possibility that the celestial heavens in general, and specifically celestial events, were critical to the development of major cognitive constructs within past human societies including religion, cosmology and the specification of emblems of social and political power.

To explore this hypothesis, we consider the answers to and interrelationships among three questions: (1) Why were early religions largely sky-based? (2) Why was animism such an integral part of traditional cultural worldviews? and (3) Why was myth so important to past traditional cultures? Data will be drawn from an examination of the potential cultural effects in North America and Hawai’i of three unique spectacular celestial events during the period of AD 1257-1264.

Note: Members of the public are welcome to bring their lunch.

SFI Host: George Gumerman

Click here to view the online event listing.

The Santa Fe Institute is a nonprofit research center located in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Its scientists collaborate across disciplines to understand the complex systems that underlie critical questions for science and humanity. The Institute is supported by philanthropic individuals and foundations, forward-thinking partner companies and government science agencies.