Wood, G, Cognitive science and religious belief, Philosophy Compass, 6, (10) pp. 734-745. ISSN 1747-9991 (2011) [Refereed Article]
Copyright 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
The cognitive science of religion draws on insights from evolutionary psychology, and offers explanations of religious belief based on natural cognitive processes. This article examines a number of competing explanations of religious belief by considering it as a solution to the challenge of cooperation. The challenge of stopping individuals cheating within a cooperative group has been a problem throughout humanity's evolutionary history. Empirical evidence drawn from fields such as anthropology and psychology suggests that religious beliefs are part of an evolved cognitive system that motivates individuals to cooperate with other members of their group. Three possible evolutionary accounts, the memetic, by-product, and adaptation accounts, are considered as evolved solutions to the challenge of cooperation.
|Item Type:||Refereed Article|
|Keywords:||cognitive science, religious belief, evolutionary psychology, evolved cognitive system,|
|Research Division:||Philosophy and Religious Studies|
|Research Field:||Philosophy of Religion|
|Objective Division:||Expanding Knowledge|
|Objective Group:||Expanding Knowledge|
|Objective Field:||Expanding Knowledge in Philosophy and Religious Studies|
|UTAS Author:||Wood, G (Dr Graham Wood)|
|Downloads:||10 View Download Statistics|
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