From Representations to Perceptions: A New “Horizon of Expectation” in Historical Theory?


This article discusses the “cognitive turn” in history and the usefulness of the cognitive sciences for a history of emotions and representation. Looking at social emotions, emotional climates, and decision-making processes can help identify collective patterns and individual exceptions, both in everyday life and in the course of major historical events. Gómez briefly looks at examples of individuals who were an exception to prevailing perceptive patterns because of their different life experiences, and who as a result acted in ways that would have seemed inappropriate and even rash from the perspective of local inhabitants.