David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 63 (3):457-486 (2012)
The dominant view in the cognitive science of religion (the ‘Standard Model’) is that religious belief and behaviour are not adaptive traits but rather incidental byproducts of the cognitive architecture of mind. Because evidence for the Standard Model is inconclusive, the case for it depends crucially on its alleged methodological superiority to selectionist alternatives. However, we show that the Standard Model has both methodological and evidential disadvantages when compared with selectionist alternatives. We also consider a pluralistic approach, which holds that religion or various aspects of religion originated as byproducts of evolved cognitive structures but were subsequently co-opted for adaptive purposes. We argue that when properly formulated, the pluralistic approach also has certain advantages over the Standard Model
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References found in this work BETA
Scott Atran & Ara Norenzayan (2004). Religion's Evolutionary Landscape: Counterintuition, Commitment, Compassion, Communion. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 27 (6):713-730.
Clark H. Barrett & R. Kurzban (2006). Modularity in Cognition: Framing the Debate. Psychological Review 113:628-647.
Justin L. Barrett (2000). Exploring the Natural Foundations of Religion. Trends in Cognitive Sciences 4 (1):29-34.
C. Driscoll (2011). Fatal Attraction? Why Sperber's Attractors Do Not Prevent Cumulative Cultural Evolution. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 62 (2):301-322.
Douglas A. Marshall (2002). Behavior, Belonging, and Belief: A Theory of Ritual Practice. Sociological Theory 20 (3):360-380.
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