Revising Cognitive and Evolutionary Science of Religion

Religion as an Adaptation
 
 
Springer (Verlag)
  • erscheint ca. am 26. Januar 2021
 
  • Buch
  • |
  • Hardcover
  • |
  • X, 215 Seiten
978-3-030-63515-2 (ISBN)
 

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 by-product but an adaptation selected by natural selection.

Chapters discuss the role of religious components for the evolution of cooperation and altruism, and explore the development of atheism and secular ideas, in cognitive and evolutionary terms. Topics such as the usefulness of religion, the transmission of religious beliefs, and a Darwinian approach to religion are among those addressed. Contrary to standard views, religious biases are regarded as shaped by cultural influences and not merely by natural dispositions.

This monograph will particularly appeal to researchers who are looking for a scientific explanation of religion and religious beliefs but who do not stop at the level of narrow cognitive and evolutionary accounts. The work will also be of interest to students of philosophy, sociology, religious studies, theology, or anthropology who seek to explain such fascinating, complex, and unequivocal phenomena as religion and religious components.

1st ed. 2021
  • Englisch
  • Cham
  • |
  • Schweiz
Springer International Publishing
  • Für Beruf und Forschung
X, 215 p.
  • Höhe: 23.5 cm
  • |
  • Breite: 15.5 cm
978-3-030-63515-2 (9783030635152)
10.1007/978-3-030-63516-9
weitere Ausgaben werden ermittelt

Konrad Szocik is a doctor of philosophy and assistant professor in Department of Social Sciences at University of Information Technology and Management in Rzeszów, Poland. His research interests include cognitive and evolutionary science of religion, evolution of cooperation, space ethics and bioethics, space philosophy and space policy, and the ethics of human enhancement.

Hans Van Eyghen is assistant professor of Philosophy at Tilburg University the Netherlands. His research interests include religious epistemology, philosophy of religion and cognitive and evolutionary science of religion.

Introduction.- Chapter1. Cognitive approach to the study of religion: basic concepts and theories.- Chapter2. Adaptationist account and pragmatic usefulness of religion.- Chapter3. Content biases versus context biases and the critique of intuitiveness and naturalness of religion.- Chapter4. Religion and biological evolution: what is right and what is wrong in Darwinian approach to the study of religion.- Chapter5. Religion and cultural evolution. Does supernatural punishment matter for evolution of altruism and cooperation?.- Chapter6. The challenge of atheism and non-belief for cognitive and evolutionary approach.- Chapter7. Why adaptationist account is better than cognitive one but both of them do not provide sufficient explanatory frameworks to explain religion.- Conclusion.

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 by-product but an adaptation selected by natural selection.

Chapters discuss the role of religious components for the evolution of cooperation and altruism, and explore the development of atheism and secular ideas, in cognitive and evolutionary terms. Topics such as the usefulness of religion, the transmission of religious beliefs, and a Darwinian approach to religion are among those addressed. Contrary to standard views, religious biases are regarded as shaped by cultural influences and not merely by natural dispositions.

This monograph will particularly appeal to researchers who are looking for a scientific explanation of religion and religious beliefs but who do not stop at the level of narrow cognitive and evolutionary accounts. The work will also be of interest to students of philosophy, sociology, religious studies, theology, or anthropology who seek to explain such fascinating, complex, and unequivocal phenomena as religion and religious components.

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