Jakub Bohuszewicz: The Concept of Mind in S. M. Shirokogoroff’s “Psychomental Complex of the Tungus”


The aim of this article is to present a concept of mind by the ethnologist, Sergei Mikhailovich Shirokogoroff, as a precursor for a specific turn taking place in contemporary cognitive science. Such a turn is visible in the discarding of explanations focusing on brain or on other vehicles of cognitive processes, which are typical of traditional cognitive science. The followers of this traditional trend are united by the methodological assumption that the key to understanding cognitive processes lies in the precise comprehension of the vehicle’s functioning. Currently, cognitive science is developing a paradigm describing cognition as being embodied, embedded and extended. Similarly, Shirokogoroff's research in the anthropology of religion is part of his general concept of mind understood to be a set of cognitive processes linked with a broadly viewed environment (combining its material, ecological, biological, cultural and ritual aspects).

[Sergei Shirokogoroff, embodied cognition, ritual, shamanism]