The cognitive science of religion: Philosophical observations

Religious Studies 44 (1):83-98 (2008)
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The cognitive science of religion seeks to find genuine causal explanations for the origin and transmission of religious ideas. In the cognitive approach to religion, so-called intuitive and counter-intuitive concepts figure importantly. In this article it is argued that cognitive scientists of religion should clarify their views about the explanatory and semantic role they give to counter-intuitive concepts and beliefs in their theory. Since the cognitive science of religion is a naturalistic research programme, it is doubtful that its proponents can remain neutral on important ontological questions



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