The Challenges of Qualitatively Coding Ancient Texts


should be sent to Edward Slingerland, Department of Asian Studies, University of British Columbia, Asian Centre, 403-1871 West Mall, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z2, Canada. E-mail:


We respond to several important and valid concerns about our study (“The Prevalence of Folk Dualism in Early China,”Cognitive Science 35: 997–1007) by Klein and Klein, defending our interpretation of our data. We also argue that, despite the undeniable challenges involved in qualitatively coding texts from ancient cultures, the standard tools used throughout the cognitive sciences—large quantities of data, coders as blind to the hypothesis as possible, intercoder reliability measures, and statistical analysis—allow the noise of randomly distributed interpretative differences to be distinguished from the signal of genuine historical patterns.