Cognitive science of religion and folk theistic belief

Zygon 51 (4):949-965 (2016)
  Copy   BIBTEX


Cognitive scientists of religion promise to lay bare the cognitive mechanisms that generate religious beliefs in human beings. Defenders of the debunking argument believe that the cognitive mechanisms studied in this field pose a threat to folk theism. A number of influential responses to the debunking argument rely on making two sets of distinctions: proximate/ultimate explanations and specific/general religious beliefs. I argue, however, that such responses have drawbacks and do not make room for folk theism. I suggest that a detour through the literature in the philosophy of mind regarding the problem of mental causation regarding nonreductive physicalism can provide a way for preserving folk theism without doing violence to the way cognitive science of religion is being practiced today. More specifically, I believe there is a way of responding to the debunking argument that does not require a rejection of the causal premise.



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 89,703

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Folk psychology and cognitive architecture.Frances Egan - 1995 - Philosophy of Science 62 (2):179-96.
Evolutionary debunking arguments against theism, reconsidered.Jonathan Jong & Aku Visala - 2014 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 76 (3):243-258.
Recent Work in Reformed Epistemology.Andrew Moon - 2016 - Philosophy Compass 11 (12):879-891.
Knowledge and the Objection to Religious Belief from Cognitive Science.Kelly James Clark & Dani Rabinowitz - 2011 - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 3 (1):67 - 81.


Added to PP

66 (#219,992)

6 months
6 (#200,346)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Daniel Lim
Duke Kunshan University

References found in this work

Physicalism, or Something near Enough.Jaegwon Kim - 2006 - Philosophical Quarterly 56 (223):306-310.
Evolutionary Debunking Arguments.Guy Kahane - 2010 - Noûs 45 (1):103-125.
Thinking about Consciousness.Diana Raffman - 2005 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 71 (1):171-186.
Supervenience and Mind: Selected Philosophical Essays.Jaegwon Kim - 1993 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 47 (4):579-607.

View all 23 references / Add more references