The Naturalness of Religious Ideas: A Cognitive Theory of Religion / Edition 1

The Naturalness of Religious Ideas: A Cognitive Theory of Religion / Edition 1

by Pascal Boyer
     
 

ISBN-10: 0520075595

ISBN-13: 9780520075597

Pub. Date: 02/03/1994

Publisher: University of California Press


Why do people have religious ideas? And why thosereligious ideas? The main theme of Pascal Boyer's work is that important aspects of religious representations are constrained by universal properties of the human mind-brain. Experimental results from developmental psychology, he says, can explain why certain religious representations are more likely to be…  See more details below

Overview


Why do people have religious ideas? And why thosereligious ideas? The main theme of Pascal Boyer's work is that important aspects of religious representations are constrained by universal properties of the human mind-brain. Experimental results from developmental psychology, he says, can explain why certain religious representations are more likely to be acquired, stored, and transmitted by human minds. Considering these universal constraints, Boyer proposes an exciting new answer to the question of why similar religious representations are found in so many different cultures. His work will be widely discussed by cultural anthropologists, psychologists, and students of religion, history, and philosophy.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780520075597
Publisher:
University of California Press
Publication date:
02/03/1994
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
344
Product dimensions:
11.20(w) x 7.40(h) x 1.40(d)

Table of Contents

Preface
Pt. 1Religious Ideas as Conceptual Structures
1Recurrence, Naturalness, and Under-Determination3
2The Varieties of Religious Representations29
3Two Aspects of Conceptual Structures61
Pt. 2Four Repertoires of Religious Representations
4Natural Ontologies and Supernatural Furniture91
5Causal Judgments125
6Essentialism and Social Categories155
7Ritual Episodes and Religious Assumptions185
Pt. 3A Sketch of Cultural Transmission
8Cross-Strengthening, Religious Truth, and Stability227
9Cultural Transmission and the Biology in History263
References297
Index315

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