New PDF release: How Religion Works: Towards a New Cognitive Science of

By Ilkka Pyysiainen

ISBN-10: 9004132732

ISBN-13: 9789004132733

Fresh findings in cognitive technological know-how and evolutionary psychology supply very important insights to the tactics which make spiritual ideals and behaviors such effective attractors in and throughout quite a few cultural settings. the explicit salience of non secular principles relies at the undeniable fact that they're 'counter-intuitive': they contradict our intuitive expectancies of ways entities usually behave. Counter-intuitive principles are just produced by means of a brain in a position to crossing the limits that separate such ontological domain names as people, residing issues, "and reliable" items. The evolution of any such brain has in simple terms taken position within the human species. How definite varieties of counter-intuitive principles are chosen for a non secular use is mentioned from various angles. Cognitive issues are therefore regarding the traditions of comparative faith. This ebook has additionally been released in hardback, please click on right here for info.

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Extra info for How Religion Works: Towards a New Cognitive Science of Religion

Example text

Thus the idea of culture as an independent level of reality is useless as an explanatory concept. Geertz and Symbolism In this section, I deal with Geertz’s view of cultural symbols. Geertz’s view includes the following three assumptions: (1) that there are such special entities as “symbols,” (2) that these symbols have intrinsic meaning, and (3) that these meanings can be somehow “inherited,” this process of “inheriting” being so obvious that it does not have to be explained at all. These, as I will try to show, are all highly dubious assumptions.

No rules are needed. The regular and irregular verbs are represented in a distributed fashion throughout the network. Moreover, Elman et al. e. how the language got to be the way it is. This example shows that verb forms cannot be understood as abstract entities independent of human cognitive mechanisms. On the 30   contrary, it is the cognitive constraints that affect the formation of linguistic forms which exist as mentally represented. We therefore have good reason to presuppose that other cultural phenomena too are by no means independent of our cognitive make-up.

Cultural patterns are both models of and models for, in the sense that, on the one hand, they can be manipulated to bring them “into parallel with 36   the pre-established nonsymbolic system” (model of reality). On the other hand, the nonsymbolic system too can be manipulated “in terms of the relationships expressed in the symbolic,” as in building something according to a blueprint (model for reality). For example, genetic programs, which for Geertz represent nonsymbolic information, are only models for.

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How Religion Works: Towards a New Cognitive Science of Religion by Ilkka Pyysiainen


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