On Imagining the Afterlife
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Journal of Cognition and Culture 11 (3-4):367-389 (2011)
The author argues for three interconnected theses which provide a cognitive account for why humans intuitively believe that others survive death. The first thesis, from which the second and third theses follow, is that the acceptance of afterlife beliefs is predisposed by a specific, and already well-documented, imaginative process - the offline social reasoning process. The second thesis is that afterlife beliefs are social in nature. The third thesis is that the living imagine the deceased as socially embodied in such a way as to continue to fulfill on-going social obligations with others. The author further suggests six reasons why the fantasy/reality distinction breaks down for the imaginer such that the continued existence of the decedent in the afterlife is believed to be real. Finally, the author suggests avenues for further research which would support this cognitive account.
|Keywords||afterlife embodied cognition metaphor social embodiment offline social reasoning alief imagination|
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Helen De Cruz & Johan De Smedt (2013). Reformed and Evolutionary Epistemology and the Noetic Effects of Sin. International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 74 (1):49-66.
Helen De Cruz (2013). Cognitive Science of Religion and the Study of Theological Concepts. Topoi:1-11.
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