David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Sociological Theory 22 (1):140-160 (2004)
This paper is a critical response to the newest version of the rational choice theory of religion (RCTR). In comparison with previous critiques, this paper takes aim at RCTR's foundational assumption of psychological egoism and argues that the thesis of psychological egoism is untenable. Without that thesis, the normative aspects of religious commitment cannot be reduced validly to instrumental reason. On neither conceptual nor empirical grounds therefore can religion or religious commitment be defined comprehensively in terms of exchange theory. With the failure of psychological egoism as a point of departure, the paper articulates an alternative theory of religion, one based on the epistemic rationality grounded in religious experience and religious emotion.
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References found in this work BETA
Imre Lakatos & Alan Musgrave (eds.) (1970). Criticism and the Growth of Knowledge. Cambridge University Press.
Thomas S. Kuhn (1996/2012). The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. University of Chicago Press.
L. Laudan (1977). Progress and its Problems: Toward a Theory of Scientific Growth. University of California Press.
B. F. Skinner (1971). Beyond Freedom and Dignity. Penguin Books.
William James (1991). The Varieties of Religious Experience. Triumph Books.
Citations of this work BETA
Eva Illouz & Shoshannah Finkelman (2009). An Odd and Inseparable Couple: Emotion and Rationality in Partner Selection. [REVIEW] Theory and Society 38 (4):401-422.
Carlo Barone (2007). A Neo-Durkheimian Analysis of a New Religious Movement: The Case of Soka Gakkai in Italy. [REVIEW] Theory and Society 36 (2):117-140.
Margarita A. Mooney & Nicolette D. Manglos‐Weber (2014). Prayer and Liturgy as Constitutive‐Ends Practices in Black Immigrant Communities. Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour 44 (4):459-480.
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