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Imagination and Immortality: Thinking of Me

Synthese 159 (2):215 - 233 (2007)

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  1. On Imagining the Afterlife.K. Mitch Hodge - 2011 - Journal of Cognition and Culture 11 (3-4):367-389.
    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 (...)
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  • Phenomenal Consciousness Disembodied.Wesley Buckwalter & Mark Phelan - 2014 - In Justin Sytsma (ed.), Advances in Experimental Philosophy of Mind. Bloomsbury Academic. pp. 45-74.
    We evaluate the role of embodiment in ordinary mental state ascriptions. Presented are five experiments on phenomenal state ascriptions to disembodied entities such as ghosts and spirits. Results suggest that biological embodiment is not a central principle of folk psychology guiding ascriptions of phenomenal consciousness. By contrast, results continue to support the important role of functional considerations in theory of mind judgments.
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  • Who Wants to Live Forever?Claire White - 2017 - Journal of Cognition and Culture 17 (5):419-436.
    Around 30% of world cultures endorse reincarnation and 20% of contemporary Americans think that reincarnation is plausible. This paper addresses the question of why belief in reincarnation is so pervasive across geographically disparate contexts. While social scientists have provided compelling explanations of the particularistic aspects of reincarnation, less is known about the psychological foundations of such beliefs. In this paper, I review research in the cognitive science of religion to propose that selected panhuman cognitive tendencies contribute to the cross-cultural success (...)
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  • Imagination and theI.Shaun Nichols - 2008 - Mind and Language 23 (5):518-535.
    Abstract: Thought experiments about the self seem to lead to deeply conflicting intuitions about the self. Cases imagined from the 3rd person perspective seem to provoke different responses than cases imagined from the 1st person perspective. This paper argues that recent cognitive theories of the imagination, coupled with standard views about indexical concepts, help explain our reactions in the 1st person cases. The explanation helps identify intuitions that should not be trusted as a guide to the metaphysics of the self.
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