Causes of cultural disparity: Switches, tuners, and the cognitive science of religion

Philosophical Psychology 31 (8):1239-1264 (2018)
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Cultural disparity—the variation across cultural traits such as knowledge, skill, and belief—is a complex phenomenon, studied by a number of researchers with an expanding empirical toolkit. While there is a growing consensus as to the processes that generate cultural variation and change, general explanatory frameworks require additional tools for identifying, organising, and relating the complex causes that underpin the production of cultural disparity. Here I develop a case study in the cognitive science of religion, and demonstrate how concepts and distinctions drawn from work on contrastive explanation and manipulationist accounts of causation provide such tools for distinguishing explanatory levels, organising causal narratives, and accounting for cross-cultural patterns.



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Andrew Buskell
Georgia Institute of Technology

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Cognition blindness and cognitive gadgets.Cecilia Heyes - 2019 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 42.

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