Adaptive Imagination: Toward a Mythopoetic Cognitive Science

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A mythopoetic paradigm or perspective sees the world primarily as a dramatic story of competing personal intentions, rather than a system of objective impersonal laws. Asma (2017) argued that our contemporary imaginative cognition is evolutionarily conserved—it has structural and functional similarities to premodern Homo sapiens’ cognition. This article will (i) outline the essential features of mythopoetic cognition or adaptive imagination, (ii) delineate the adaptive socio-cultural advantages of mythopoetic cognition, (iii) explain the phylogenetic and ontogenetic mechanisms that give rise to human mythopoetic mind (i.e., genetically endowed simulation and associational systems that underwrite diverse symbolic systems); (iv) show how mythopoetic cognition challenges contemporary trends in cognitive science and philosophy, and (v) recognize and outline empirical approaches for a new cognitive science of the imagination.
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Archival date: 2021-08-01
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