David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Philosophical Psychology 24 (3):395-410 (2011)
Recent research in the cognitive science of religion suggests that humans intuitively believe that others survive death. In response to this finding, three cognitive theories have been offered to explain this: the simulation constraint theory (Bering, 2002); the imaginative obstacle theory (Nichols, 2007); and terror management theory (Pyszczynski, Rothschild, & Abdollahi, 2008). First, I provide a critical analysis of each of these theories. Second, I argue that these theories, while perhaps explaining why one would believe in his own personal immortality, leave an explanatory gap in that they do not explain why one would intuitively attribute survival of death to others. To fill in the gap, I offer a cognitive theory based on offline social reasoning and social embodiment which provides for the belief in an eternal social realm in which the deceased survive—the afterlife.
|Keywords||afterlife immortality simulation constraint imaginative obstacle terror management theory explanatory gap off-line social reasoning imagination social embodiment|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
George Lakoff & Mark Johnson (1999). Philosophy in the Flesh the Embodied Mind and its Challenge to Western Thought.
Tamar Szabó Gendler (2008). Alief and Belief. Journal of Philosophy 105 (10):634-663.
Daniel C. Dennett (1996). Kinds of Minds. Basic Books.
Tamar Szabó Gendler (2008). Alief in Action (and Reaction). Mind and Language 23 (5):552--585.
Justin Sytsma & Edouard Machery (2009). How to Study Folk Intuitions About Phenomenal Consciousness. Philosophical Psychology 22 (1):21 – 35.
Citations of this work BETA
Mark Collier (2013). The Natural Foundations of Religion. Philosophical Psychology (5):1-16.
Similar books and articles
Michael V. Antony (2006). Simulation Constraints, Afterlife Beliefs, and Common-Sense Dualism. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 29 (5):462-463.
Jesse M. Bering (2006). The Folk Psychology of Souls. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 29 (5):453-+.
Judith Bek & Suzanne Lock (2011). Afterlife Beliefs: Category Specificity and Sensitivity to Biological Priming. Religion, Brain and Behavior 1 (1):5-17.
Philip Robbins & Anthony I. Jack (2006). An Unconstrained Mind: Explaining Belief in the Afterlife. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 29 (5):484-484.
John Leslie (2007). Immortality Defended. Blackwell Pub..
Gabriel Andrade (2011). Immortality. In James Fieser & Bradley Dowden (eds.), Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Shaun Nichols (2007). Imagination and Immortality: Thinking of Me. Synthese 159 (2):215 - 233.
K. Mitch Hodge (2011). On Imagining the Afterlife. Journal of Cognition and Culture 11 (3-4):367-389.
K. Mitch Hodge (2010). Cognitive Foundations of Aftelife Beliefs. Dissertation, Queen's University Belfasst
K. Mitch Hodge (2011). Why Immortality Alone Will Not Get Me to the Afterlife. Philosophical Psychology 24 (3):395 - 410.
Added to index2010-03-22
Total downloads43 ( #99,907 of 1,911,521 )
Recent downloads (6 months)6 ( #115,074 of 1,911,521 )
How can I increase my downloads?