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Hans Van Eyghen
VU University Amsterdam
Hans Van Eyghen
VU University Amsterdam
Hans Van Eyghen
Catholic University of Louvain
  1.  2
    Revising Cognitive and Evolutionary Science of Religion : Religion as an Adaptation.Konrad Szocik & Hans Van Eyghen - 2021 - Springer Verlag.
    This unique and pioneering book critically appraises current work from both the cognitive science of religion and the evolutionary study of religion. It addresses the question: Why does the believer possess supernatural or religious beliefs in the combined context of his cognitive biases, their adaptive usefulness measured in terms of survival and reproduction, and the impact of social learning and cultural traits? The authors outlines a pluralistic approach to the study of religion that does not treat religion as an accidental (...)
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  2. Is Supernatural Belief Unreliably Formed?Hans Van Eyghen - 2018 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 85 (2):125-148.
    I criticize 5 arguments for the conclusion that religious belief is unreliably formed and hence epistemically tainted. The arguments draw on scientific evidence from Cognitive Science of Religion. They differ considerably as to why the evidence points to unreliability. Two arguments conclude to unreliability because religious belief is shaped by evolutionary pressures; another argument states that the mechanism responsible for religious belief produces many false god-beliefs; a similar argument claims that the mechanism produces incompatible god-beliefs; and a final argument states (...)
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  3.  26
    Religious Belief as Acquired Second Nature.Hans Van Eyghen - 2020 - Zygon 55 (1):185-206.
    Multiple authors in cognitive science of religion (CSR) argue that there is something about the human mind that disposes it to form religious beliefs. The dispositions would result from the internal architecture of the mind. In this article, I will argue that this disposition can be explained by various forms of (cultural) learning and not by the internal architecture of the mind. For my argument, I draw on new developments in predictive processing. I argue that CSR theories argue for the (...)
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  4.  4
    Did Natural Selection Select for True Religious Beliefs?Hans van Eyghen & Christopher T. Bennett - 2022 - Religious Studies 58 (1):113-137.
    Although it is commonly accepted that Darwinian evolution could select for true common-sense beliefs, it is altogether less certain that the same can be said for other classes of beliefs, such as moral or religious beliefs. This issue takes centre stage in debates concerning evolutionary debunking arguments against religious beliefs, where the rationality of beliefs is often dependent upon their production by an evolved faculty that is sensitive to truth. In this article, we consider whether evolution selected for true religious (...)
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  5. What Cognitive Science of Religion Can Learn From John Dewey.Hans Van Eyghen - 2018 - Contemporary Pragmatism 15 (3):387-406.
    Cognitive science of religion is a fairly young discipline with the aim of studying the cognitive basis of religious belief. Despite the great variation in theories a number of common features can be distilled and most theories can be situated in the cognitivist and modular paradigm. In this paper, I investigate how cognitive science of religion (CSR) can be made better by insights from John Dewey. I chose Dewey because he offered important insights in cognition long before there was cognitive (...)
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  6. Two Types of “Explaining Away” Arguments in the Cognitive Science of Religion.Hans van Eyghen - 2016 - Zygon 51 (4):966-982.
    This article discusses “explaining away” arguments in the cognitive science of religion. I distinguish two rather different ways of explaining away religion, one where religion is shown to be incompatible with scientific findings and one where supernatural entities are rendered superfluous by scientific explanations. After discussing possible objections to both varieties, I argue that the latter way offers better prospects for successfully explaining away religion but that some caveats must be made. In a second step, I spell out how CSR (...)
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  7. Cognitive Science of Religion and the Cognitive Consequences of Sin.Rik Peels, Hans Van Eyghen & Gijsbert Van den Brink - 2018 - In Hans Van Eyghen, Rik Peels & Gijsbert Van den Brink (eds.), NewDevelopments in the Cognitive Science of Religion: The Rationality of Religious Belief. Dordrecht: Springer.
  8. Introduction.Hans Van Eyghen, Rik Peels & Gijsbert Van den Brink - 2018 - In Hans Van Eyghen, Rik Peels & Gijsbert BVan den Brink (eds.), New Developments in the Cognitive Science of Religion - The Rationality of Religious Belief. Dordrecht: Springer.
    Introduction for 'New Developments in Cognitive Science of Religion - The Rationality of Religious Belief' forthcoming with Springer. We discuss the philosophical debate over Cognitive Science of Religion and give an outline of the book.
     
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  9.  8
    The Cognitive Science of Religion, Philosophy and Theology: A Survey of the Issues.Hans van Eyghen, Rik Peels & Gijsbert van den Brink - 2018 - In Hans van Eyghen, Rik Peels & Gijsbert van den Brink (eds.), New Developments in the Cognitive Science of Religion - the Rationality of Religious Belief. Springer. pp. 1-14.
    Cognitive Science of Religion is still a rather young discipline. Depending on what one deems to be the first paper or book in the field, the discipline is now almost forty or almost thirty years old. Philosophical and theological discussion on CSR started in the late 2000s. From its onset, the main focus has been the epistemic consequences of CSR, and this focus is dominant even today. Some of those involved in the debate discussed the relevance of CSR for further (...)
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  10. Most Peers Don’T Believe It, Hence It Is Probably False.René van Woudenberg & Hans van Eyghen - 2017 - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 9 (4):87-112.
    Rob Lovering has recently argued that since theists have been unable, by means of philosophical arguments, to convince 85 percent of professional philosophers that God exists, at least one of their defining beliefs must be either false or meaningless. This paper is a critical examination of his argument. First we present Lovering’s argument and point out its salient features. Next we explain why the argument’s conclusion is entirely acceptable for theists, even if, as we show, there are multiple problems with (...)
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  11.  8
    Book Reviews Religion Explained? The Cognitive Science of Religion After Twenty-Five Years, Edited by Luther H. Martin and Donald Wiebe. Bloomsbury Academic 2017. 272pp., 6 B&W Illustrations. Hb $114.00. ISBN-13: 9781350032477. [REVIEW]Hans Van Eyghen - 2018 - Journal for the Cognitive Science of Religion 4 (1):111-115.
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  12. Religious Belief is Not Natural. Why Cognitive Science of Religion Does Not Show That Religious Belief is Rational.Hans Van Eyghen - 2016 - Studia Humana 5 (4):34-44.
    It is widely acknowledged that the new emerging discipline cognitive science of religion has a bearing on how to think about the epistemic status of religious beliefs. Both defenders and opponents of the rationality of religious belief have used cognitive theories of religion to argue for their point. This paper will look at the defender-side of the debate. I will discuss an often used argument in favor of the trustworthiness of religious beliefs, stating that cognitive science of religion shows that (...)
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  13.  7
    Cognitive Science of Religion and the Cognitive Consequences of Sin.Rik Peels, Hans van Eyghen & Gijsbert van den Brink - 2018 - In Hans van Eyghen, Rik Peels & Gijsbert van den Brink (eds.), New Developments in the Cognitive Science of Religion - the Rationality of Religious Belief. Springer. pp. 199-214.
    This paper explores the relation between evolutionary explanations of religious belief and a core idea in both classical Christian theology and Reformed Epistemology, namely that humans have fallen into sin. In particular, it challenges the claim made by De Cruz and De Smedt that ‘ in the light of current evolutionary and cognitive theories, the Reformed epistemological view of NES [the noetic effects of sin] is in need of revision.’ Three possible solutions to this conundrum are examined, two of which (...)
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  14.  64
    There Is No Sensus Divinitatis.Hans van Eyghen - 2016 - Journal for the Study of Religions and Ideologies 15 (45):24-40.
    Inspired by Alvin Plantinga, many philosophers of religion accept the existence of a sensus divinitatis, a cognitive mechanism that produces religious beliefs. In this paper I will argue that there are no good reasons to accept the existence of a sensus divinitatis and hence its existence should not be affirmed. Plantinga gives two arguments for its existence, one empirical and one from the nature of God. I will argue that the first argument fails because God’s nature makes it more likely (...)
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  15. Religious Cognition as Social Cognition.Hans Van Eyghen - 2015 - Studia Religiologica 48 (4):301-312.
    In this paper, I examine the relationship between social cognition and religious cognition. Many cognitive theories of religion claim that these two forms are somehow related, but the details are usually left unexplored and insights from theories of social cognition are not taken on board. I discuss the three main (groups of) theories of social cognition, namely the theory-theory, the simulation theory and enactivist theories. Secondly, I explore how these theories can help to enrich a number of cognitive theories of (...)
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  16. Predictive Coding and Religious Belief.Hans Van Eyghen - 2018 - Filosofia Unisinos 19 (3).
    In this paper I investigate the epistemic implications of a recent theory of religious cognition that draws on predictive coding. The theory argues that certain experiences are heavily shaped by a subject’s prior (religious) beliefs and thereby makes religious believers prone to detect invisible agents. The theory is an update of older theories of religious cognition but departs from them in crucial ways. I will assess the epistemic implications by reformulating existing arguments based on other (older) theories of religious cognition.
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  17. Are Design Beliefs Safe?Hans Van Eyghen - 2019 - Studia Humana 8 (1):75-83.
    Recently, Del Ratzsch proposed a new version of the design argument. He argues that belief in a designer is often formed non-inferentially, much like perceptual beliefs, rather than formed by explicit reasoning. Ratzsch traces his argument back to Thomas Reid who argues that beliefs formed in this way are also justified. In this paper, I investigate whether design beliefs that are formed in this way can be regarded as knowledge. For this purpose, I look closer to recent scientific study of (...)
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  18.  60
    Book Review: Problems of Religious Luck by Guy Axtell. [REVIEW]Hans Van Eyghen - 2019 - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 11 (4):209-213.
  19.  2
    Responding to Debunking Arguments.Hans Van Eyghen - forthcoming - Philosophia Reformata:1-13.
    In this response article, I argue that Launonen’s criticisms either are beyond the scope of my argument in chapter 5 of Arguing from Cognitive Science of Religion or wrongfully presume that evolutionary explanations exhaustively explain religious beliefs. I also criticize Launonen’s claim that arguments in terms of divine design are preferable to arguments in terms of truth-tracking cognitive mechanisms.
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  20.  54
    The Retreat Argument.Hans Van Eyghen - 2018 - Heythrop Journal (3):497-508.
    Some philosophers and scientists argue that as science progresses the religious domain shrinks ever more. They see the advance of science as an argument against religion and for naturalism. In what follows I construct the argument that is tacit in this line of reasoning and criticize it.
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  21.  2
    New Developments in the Cognitive Science of Religion - The Rationality of Religious Belief.Hans van Eyghen, Rik Peels & Gijsbert van den Brink (eds.) - 2018 - Dordrecht: Springer.
    It is widely thought that the cognitive science of religion may have a bearing on the epistemic status of religious beliefs and on other topics in philosophy of religion. Epistemologists have used theories from CSR to argue both for and against the rationality of religious beliefs, or they have claimed that CSR is neutral vis-à-vis the epistemic status of religious belief. However, since CSR is a rapidly evolving discipline, a great deal of earlier research on the topic has become dated. (...)
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  22.  7
    Kelly James Clark, God and the Brain: The Rationality of Belief.Hans Van Eyghen - 2020 - Philosophia Reformata 86 (1):1-5.
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  23.  18
    Book Review “Religion Explained? The Cognitive Science of Religion After Twenty-Five Years”. [REVIEW]Hans Van Eyghen - 2017 - Studia Humana 6 (4):79-81.
    I review the book “Religion Explained? The Cognitive Science of Religion after Twenty-Five Years.” I discuss all the papers in the book and highlight some recurrent issues.
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  24.  11
    Review of Knowledge, Belief, and God: New Insights in Religious Epistemology, Edited by Matthew Benton, John Hawthorne, and Dani Rabinowitz: Oxford University Press, 2018, ISBN: 9780198798705, 368pp. [REVIEW]Hans Van Eyghen - 2019 - Sophia 58 (3):539-541.
  25.  22
    Book Review on The Philosophical Challenge From China. [REVIEW]Hans van Eyghen - 2016 - Comparative Philosophy 7 (1).
    In this paper, I review the book The Philosophical Challenge from China, edited by Brian Bruya. I critically discuss each of the 13 contributions.
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  26.  8
    Philosophical Approaches to Demonology, Edited by Benjamin W. McCraw and Robert Arp. [REVIEW]Hans van Eyghen - 2018 - Philosophia Reformata 83 (2):247-253.
  27.  9
    Spirit Beliefs Debunked?Hans Van Eyghen - 2018 - Science, Religion and Culture 5 (1):73-82.
    I discuss and criticize an argument for the conclusion that belief in spirits is unreliably formed and hence unjustified. The argument is based on three scientific explanations for spirit-beliefs; hyperactive agency detection device, infrasound, and magnetic stimulation of the temporal lobe. I argue that the argument fails because the explanations are of too limited scope.
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  28.  5
    Review: ‘Minds Make Societies’. [REVIEW]Hans Van Eyghen - 2020 - Journal of Cognition and Culture 20 (1-2):155-158.
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  29.  9
    J. A. Van Slyke, The Cognitive Science of Religion, Ashgate Publishing, Ltd., 2011.Hans Van Eyghen - 2016 - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 8 (4):231--233.
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  30.  1
    Rik Peels and René van Woudenberg, Eds., The Cambridge Companion to Common-Sense Philosophy.Hans Van Eyghen - 2022 - Philosophia Reformata 87 (1):75-78.
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  31.  4
    Rob Lovering. God and Evidence. Bloomsbury, 2013.Hans Van Eyghen - 2016 - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 8 (1):254--260.
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