David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Cognitive Science 36 (5):846-869 (2012)
Current evolutionary and cognitive theories of religion posit that supernatural agent concepts emerge from cognitive systems such as theory of mind and social cognition. Some argue that these concepts evolved to maintain social order by minimizing antisocial behavior. If these theories are correct, then people should process information about supernatural agents’ socially strategic knowledge more quickly than non-strategic knowledge. Furthermore, agents’ knowledge of immoral and uncooperative social behaviors should be especially accessible to people. To examine these hypotheses, we measured response-times to questions about the knowledge attributed to four different agents—God, Santa Claus, a fictional surveillance government, and omniscient but non-interfering aliens—that vary in their omniscience, moral concern, ability to punish, and how supernatural they are. As anticipated, participants respond more quickly to questions about agents’ socially strategic knowledge than non-strategic knowledge, but only when agents are able to punish
|Keywords||Supernatural agents Socially strategic information Cognitive science of religion Theory of mind Supernatural punishment|
|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
John E. Abbruzzese (1997). The Coherence of Omniscience: A Defense. [REVIEW] International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 41 (1):25-34.
Scott Atran & Ara Norenzayan (2004). Religion's Evolutionary Landscape: Counterintuition, Commitment, Compassion, Communion. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 27 (6):713-730.
Patrick Grim (1983). ``Some Neglected Problems of Omniscience&Quot. American Philosophical Quarterly 20 (3):265-277.
Citations of this work BETA
Benjamin Grant Purzycki (2013). The Minds of Gods: A Comparative Study of Supernatural Agency. Cognition 129 (1):163-179.
Similar books and articles
Jesse M. Bering & Todd K. Shackelford (2004). Supernatural Agents May Have Provided Adaptive Social Information. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 27 (6):732-733.
Thomas Ågotnes & Dirk Walther (2009). A Logic of Strategic Ability Under Bounded Memory. Journal of Logic, Language and Information 18 (1):55-77.
Bryan W. Husted & David B. Allen (2000). Is It Ethical to Use Ethics as Strategy? Journal of Business Ethics 27 (1-2):21 - 31.
Pratima Bansal (2005). Responsible Strategic Decision Making. Proceedings of the International Association for Business and Society 16:57-62.
M. H. Lee & N. J. Lacey (2003). The Influence of Epistemology on the Design of Artificial Agents. Minds and Machines 13 (3):367-395.
M. Lee & N. Lacey (2004). The Influence of Epistemology on the Design of Artificial Agents. Minds and Machines 13 (3):367-395.
J. Michael Bailey (2000). Accounting for Female Strategic Variation. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 23 (4):589-589.
Margaret A. Boden (1969). Miracles and Scientific Explanation. Ratio 11:137 - 144.
Skip Worden (2003). The Role of Integrity as a Mediator in Strategic Leadership: A Recipe for Reputational Capital. [REVIEW] Journal of Business Ethics 46 (1):31 - 44.
Sieuwert van Otterloo, Wiebe Van Der Hoek & Michael Wooldridge (2006). Knowledge Condition Games. Journal of Logic, Language and Information 15 (4):425-452.
T. J. Mawson (2001). Miracles and Laws of Nature. Religious Studies 37 (1):33-58.
Added to index2012-03-30
Total downloads19 ( #101,081 of 1,410,151 )
Recent downloads (6 months)2 ( #107,954 of 1,410,151 )
How can I increase my downloads?