Astrocognition: Prolegomena to a future cognitive history of exploration

  • David Dunér
Part of the Studies in Space Policy book series (STUDSPACE, volume 5)


The human desire for exploration and man’s encounters with the unknown are a fundamental part of the cultural history of mankind, from the first stumbling steps on the African plains to the recent explorations of our globalised and urbanised world. From the dawn of the hominids to the days of the modern man, this ever changing terrestrial being has expanded in ever increasing circles of spatial consciousness, in an endeavour to climb over mountains to the next valley, transcend vast oceans and fly through the air. The next small step, or giant leap for mankind, that of going far beyond the atmosphere and gravitation of the Earth to the unknown outer space, is decisive, but that, too, is part of the long history of mankind.


Virtual Reality Human Mind Outer Space Unknown Environment Cognitive Tool 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 289.
    Jakosky, Bruce M. “Philosophical Aspects of Astrobiology.” A New Era in Bioastronomy, Vol. 213. Eds. Guillermo A. Lemarchand and Karen J. Meech. San Francisco, CA: ASP Conference Series, 2000: 666.Google Scholar
  2. 290.
    Turner, Mark. “The Cognitive Study of Art, Language, and Literature.” Poetics Today 23.1 (2002): 18; See also Richardson, Alan and Francis F. Steen. “Literature and the Cognitive Revolution. An Introduction.” Poetics Today 23.1 (2002): 1–8. 3; Dick, Steven J. and Mark L. Lupisella, Eds. Cosmos and Culture: Cultural Evolution in a Cosmic Context. Washington, DC: NASA History Series, 2009.Google Scholar
  3. 291.
    NASA. “Strategic Plan 1998: With 1999 Interim Adjustments.” NASA Policy Directive (NPD)-1000.1a of 1998/1999. NASA. 10 Jan. 2010. “ pdf; Chyba, Christopher F. and Kevin P. Hand. “Astrobiology: The Study of the Living Universe.” Annual Review of Astronomy and Astrophysics 43 (2005): 31–74.Google Scholar
  4. 292.
    Davies,Paul. Cosmic Jackpot: Why Our Universe Is Just Right for Life. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2007.Google Scholar
  5. 293.
    Pálsson, Gísli. “Celestial Bodies: Lucy in the Sky.” Humans in Outer Space — Interdisciplinary Odysseys. Eds. Luca Codignola and Kai-Uwe Schrogl.Vienna: SpringerWienNewYork, 2009: 69–81. 79.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 294.
    Davies, Paul. Are We Alone? Philosophical Implications of the Discovery of Extraterrestrial Life. New York: Basic Books, 1998; Race, Margaret S. “Societal and Ethical Concerns.” Planets and Life: The Emerging Science of Astrobiology. Eds. Woodruff T. Sullivan and John A. Baross. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007: 483–97; Bertka, Constance M., ed. Exploring the Origin, Extant, and Future of Life, Philosophical, Ethical and Theological Perspectives. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009.Google Scholar
  7. 295.
    Schetsche, Michael. “Encounters Among the Stars. Exosociological Considerations.” (in this volume).Google Scholar
  8. 296.
    Gärdenfors, Peter. How Homo Became Sapiens. On the Evolution of Thinking. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 297.
    Sinha, Chris. “Language as a Biocultural Niche and Social Institution.” New Directions in Cognitive Linguistics. Eds. Vyvyan Evans and Stephanie Pourcel. Amsterdam: Benjamins, 2009: 289–309.292; Cf. Tomasello, Michael. The Cultural Origins of Human Cognition. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1999.Google Scholar
  10. 298.
    Varela, Francisco J., Evan Thompson, and Eleanor Rosch. The Embodied Mind. Cognitive Science and Human Experience. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1991; Lakoff, George and Mark Johnson. Philosophy in the Flesh. The Embodied Mind and its Challenge to Western Thought. New York, NY: Basic Books, 1999; Krois, John, Mats Rosengren, Angela Steidele, and Dirk Westerkamp, eds. Embodiment in Cognition and Culture. Amsterdam: Benjamins, 2007.Google Scholar
  11. 299.
    Clark, Andy. Being There. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1997; Brinck, Ingar. “Situated Cognition, Dynamic Systems, and Art. On Artistic Creativity and Aesthetic Experience.” Janus Head 9.2 (2007): 407–431.Google Scholar
  12. 300.
    Clark, Andy, and David Chalmers. “The Extended Mind.” Analysis 58.1 (1998): 7–19.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 301.
    Gärdenfors, Peter. “Cognitive Science: from Computers to Ant Hills as Models of Human Thought.” A Smorgasbord of Cognitive Science. Eds. Peter Gärdenfors and Annika Wallin. Nora: Nya Doxa, 2008: 11–34. 28; Wallin, Annika, and David de Léon. “How Should We Study Interaction?” A Smorgasbord of Cognitive Science. Eds. Peter Gärdenfors, and Annika Wallin. Nora: Nya Doxa, 2008: 133–148. 139.Google Scholar
  14. 302.
    Gärdenfors, Peter. “The Evolution of Thought.” A Smorgasbord of Cognitive Science. Eds. Peter Gärdenfors and Annika Wallin. Nora: Nya Doxa, 2008: 81–97. 81.Google Scholar
  15. 303.
    Lakoff, George and Mark Johnson. Metaphors We Live by. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 1980.Google Scholar
  16. 304.
    Gärdenfors, Peter. “Concept Learning.” A Smorgasbord of Cognitive Science. Eds. Peter Gärdenfors and Annika Wallin. Nora: Nya Doxa, 2008: 165–181. 167.Google Scholar
  17. 305.
    Lakoff, George. Women, Fire, and Dangerous Things. What Categories Reveal about the Mind. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 1990; Taylor, John R. Linguistic Categorization. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003.Google Scholar
  18. 306.
    Mayr, Ernst. The Growth of Biological Thought. Diversity, Evolution, and Inheritance. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1982; Atran, Scott. Cognitive Foundations of Natural History. Towards an Anthropology of Science. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990; Berlin, Brent. Ethnobiological Classification. Principles of Categorization of Plants and Animals in Traditional Societies. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1992; Wilson, Robert A., ed. Species. New Interdisciplinary Essays. Cambridge, MA: MIT, 1999; Coyne, Jerry A. and H. Allen Orr. Speciation. Sunderland, MA: Sinauer, 2004; Atran, Scott and Douglas Medin. The Native Mind and the Cultural Construction of Nature. Cambridge, MA: MIT, 2008: 9, 23.Google Scholar
  19. 307.
    Rosch, Eleanor. “Principles of Categorization.” Cognition and Categorization. Eds. Eleanor Rosch and Barbara B. Lloyd. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum, 1978.Google Scholar
  20. 308.
    Concerning intersubjectivity, see Thompson, Evan. Ed. Between Ourselves: Second-Person Issues in the Study of Consciousness. Thorverton: Imprint Academic, 2001.Google Scholar
  21. 309.
    Christiansen, Morten H. and Simon Kirby, eds. Language Evolution. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997; Deacon, Terry. The Symbolic Species: The Co-Evolution of Language and the Brain. New York: Norton, 1997; Tomasello, Michael. Origins of Human Communication. Cambridge, MA: MIT, 2008.Google Scholar
  22. 310.
    Taylor, John R. Cognitive Grammar. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002: 30.Google Scholar
  23. 311.
    Saussure, Ferdinand de. Cours de linguistique générale. Lausanne: Payot, 1916.Google Scholar
  24. 312.
    Sonesson, Göran. “Preparation for Discussing Constructivism with a Martian.” Les Signes du Monde: Interculturalité & Globalisation: Proceedings of the Eighth Congrès de l’Association International de Sémiotique, 7–12 July 2004, Lyon, France. Lyon: Université de Lyon, 2007. Scholar
  25. 313.
    Lotman, Yuri. Universe of the Mind. A Semiotic Theory of Culture. London: Tauris, 1990.Google Scholar
  26. 314.
    Cabak Rédei, Anna. An Inquiry into Cultural Semiotics: Germaine de Staël’s Autobiographical Travel Accounts. Lund: Lund University, 2007: 43, 45f.Google Scholar
  27. 315.
    Vakoch, Douglas A. “The View from a Distant Star: Challenges of Interstellar Message-Making.” Mercury 28.2 (1999): 26–30; See also Arbib, Michael A. “Minds and Millenia: The Psychology of Interstellar Communication.” Cosmic Search 3.1 (1979): 21ff; Vakoch, Douglas A. “Constructing Messages to Extraterrestrials: An Exosemiotic Perspective.” Acta Astronautica 42.10–12 (2000): 697–704; McConnell, Brian. Beyond Contact: A Guide to SETI and Communicating with Alien Civilizations. Sebastopol, CA: O’Reilly, 2001; Dunér, David. “Cognitive Foundations of Interstellar Communication.” Communication with Extraterrestrial Intelligence. Ed. Douglas A. Vakoch. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press (in press).Google Scholar
  28. 316.
    Freudenthal, Hans. Lincos: Design of a Language for Cosmic Intercourse. Amsterdam: North-Holland, 1960.zbMATHGoogle Scholar
  29. 317.
    Sonesson, Göran, op. cit.Google Scholar
  30. 318.
    Ehrsson, H. Henrik. “The Experimental Induction of Out-of-Body Experiences.” Science 317 (2007): 1048, also see 1020f; Henrik Ehrsson’s group — “Brain, Body & Self Laboratory.” 28 Dec. 2009. Henrik Ehrensson’s Group Website 10 Jan. 2010 Scholar
  31. 319.
    Donald, Merlin. Origins of the Modern Mind: Three Stages in the Evolution of Culture and Cognition. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1991; Donald, Merlin. A Mind so Rare: The Evolution of Human Consciousness. New York: Norton, 2001.Google Scholar
  32. 320.
    Bruner, Jerome. “The Narrative Construction of Reality.” Critical Inquiry 18.1 (1991): 1–21. 4.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 321.
    Landfester, Ulrike. “Missing the Impossible: How We Talk and Write about Space.” Humans in Outer Space — Interdisciplinary Odysseys. Eds. Luca Codignola and Kai-Uwe Schrogl. Vienna: SpringerWienNewYork, 2009. 94–106.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 322.
    Dick, Steven J. Plurality of Worlds: The Origins of the Extraterrestrial Life Debate from Democritus to Kant. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1982; Guthke, Karl S. Der Mythos der Neuzeit: Das Thema der Mehrheit der Welten in der Literatur-und Geistesgeschichte von der kopernikanischen Wende bis zur Science Fiction. Bern: Francke, 1983; Crowe, Michael J. The Extraterrestrial Life Debate 1750–1900: The Idea of a Plurality of Worlds from Kant to Lowell, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1986; Dick, Steven J. The Biological Universe: The Twentieth-Century Extraterrestrial Life Debate and the Limits of Science. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996; Dick, Steven J. and James E. Strick. The Living Universe: NASA and the Development of Astrobiology. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2004; Sullivan, Woodruff T. and John A. Baross, eds. Planets and Life: The Emerging Science of Astrobiology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007.Google Scholar
  35. 323.
    Worms, Jean-Claude. “Space and Humans.” Humans in Outer Space — Interdisciplinary Odysseys. Eds. Luca Codignola and Kai-Uwe Schrogl. Vienna: SpringerWienNewYork, 2009: v–xiv. vii.Google Scholar
  36. 324.
    Jakosky, Bruce M. op. cit. 663.Google Scholar
  37. 325.
    Pratt, Mary Louise. Imperial Eyes: Travel Writing and Transculturation. London, and New York: Routledge, 1992: 15.Google Scholar
  38. 326.
    Dick, Steven. “Humanity and Extraterrestrial Life.” Proceedings of Life on Mars. What Are the Implications? Eds. John M. Logsdon, Bridget R. Ziegelaar, and Anne Marie Burns. 26 Nov. 1996, Washington D.C.: Space Policy Institute George Washington University, 1997; Codignola, Luca. “Future Encounters: Learning from the Past?” Humans in Outer Space — Interdisciplinary Odysseys. Eds. Luca Codignola, and Kai-Uwe Schrogl. Vienna: SpringerWienNewYork, 2009: 14–21.Google Scholar
  39. 327.
    “The Vienna Vision on Humans in Outer Space.” Humans in Outer Space — Interdisciplinary Odysseys. Eds. Luca Codignola and Kai-Uwe Schrogl. Vienna: SpringerWienNewYork, 2009:227–229. 229.Google Scholar
  40. 328.
    Concerning cultural encounters and travel literature: Campbell, Mary B. The Witness and the Other World. Exotic European Travel Writing, 400–1600. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1988; Porter, Dennis. Haunted Journeys: Desire and Transgression in European Travel Writing. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1991; Pratt, Mary Louise, op. cit.; Pagden, Anthony. European Encounters with the New World. From Renaissance to Romanticism. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1993; Eisner, Jas and Joan-Pau Rubiés. Voyages and Visions: Towards a Cultural History of Travel. London: Reaktion Books, 1999; Bridges, Roy. “Exploration and Travel Outside Europe (1720–1914).” The Cambridge Companion to Travel Writing. Eds. Peter Hulme and Tim Youngs. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002; Sell, Jonathan P. A. Rhetoric and Wonder in English Travel Writing, 1560–1613. Aldershot: Ashgate, 2006; Abulafia, David. The Discovery of Mankind: Atlantic Encounters in the Age of Columbus. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2008.Google Scholar
  41. 329.
    We can find a new interest in spatiality, the spatial turn. See for example Crang, Mike and Nigel Thrift, Eds. Thinking Space.London: Routledge, 2000; Schlögel, Karl. Im Räume lesen wir die Zeit: Über Zivilisationsgeschichte und Geopolitik. München, and Vienna: Carl Hanser Verlag, 2003.Google Scholar
  42. 330.
    Lefebvre, Henri. La production de l’espace. Paris: Anthropos, 1974.Google Scholar
  43. 331.
    Niebuhr, Carsten. Reisebeschreibung nach Arabien und andern umliegenden Ländern. Copenhagen: Nicolaus Møller, 1774–1837.Google Scholar
  44. 332.
    Columbus, Christopher. Epistola de Insulis nuper Inventis. Rom: Eucharius Silber, 1493.Google Scholar
  45. 333.
    Todorov, Tzvetan. La Conquête de l’Amérique. La Question de l’Autre. Paris: Seuil, 1982.Google Scholar
  46. 334.
    Sonesson, Göran. “Ego Meets Alter. The Meaning of Otherness in Cultural Semiotics.” Semiotica 128.3/4 (2000): 537–559; Sonesson, Göran. “The Globalisation of Ego and Alter. An Essay in Cultural Semiotics.” Semiotica 148.1/4 (2004): 153–73; Cabak Rédei, Anna. op. cit. 2, 7, 70.Google Scholar
  47. 335.
    Cabak Rédei, Anna. op. cit.Google Scholar
  48. 336.
    Katsuragawa, Hoshu. Kratkie vesti o skitanijach v severnych vodach. Moscow: Nauka, 1978.Google Scholar
  49. 337.
    Said, Edward. Orientalism. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1978.Google Scholar
  50. 338.
    We will thus not know how to treat them. For an analysis of the moral implications when encountering extra-terrestrial life see Cockell, Charles. “Ethics and Microscopic Extra-Terrestrial Life” (in this volume).Google Scholar
  51. 339.
    Landfester, Ulrike. op. cit. 105.Google Scholar
  52. 340.
    For the term “cosmocentric”, see Lupisella, Mark. “Astrobiology and Cosmocentrism.” Bioastronomy News, IAU Commission 51.10(1) (1998): 1–2, 8.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag/Wien 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Dunér

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations