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Cognitive Attractors in the Evolution and Diffusion of Religious Representations

Abstract : The publication of Rethinking Religion (Lawson and McCauley 1990) ushered in the cognitive program in the study of religion, which like other scientific research programs includes a set of agreed assumptions about the problems to solve, the kind of evidence that would be relevant, and the methods to be used (Lakatos 1978) . Specifically, the many scholars who joined the program assumed that religious representations and behaviors are natural outcomes of brain function, that experimental evidence is required to argue for models of their emergence in human minds, and that the two central questions in the field were, why religious representations appear in human minds at all, and why they include so many recurrent features the world over. Here we argue that the success of the program so far should lead to refining these questions and considering how an evolutionary cognitive perspective can make sense of historical...
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Contributor : Charlotte Bultel <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, December 15, 2020 - 1:20:39 AM
Last modification on : Friday, July 2, 2021 - 9:58:02 AM

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Pascal Boyer, Nicolas Baumard. Cognitive Attractors in the Evolution and Diffusion of Religious Representations. Luther H. Martin; Donald Wiebe. Religion Explained? : The Cognitive Science of Religion after Twenty-Five Years, Bloomsbury Academic, pp.81-88, 2017, ⟨10.5040/9781350032491.ch-006⟩. ⟨ijn_03065833⟩

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