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  1. Understanding Hume's Natural History of Religion.P. J. E. Kail - 2007 - Philosophical Quarterly 57 (227):190–211.
    Hume's 'Natural History of Religion' offers a naturalized account of the causes of religious thought, an investigation into its 'origins' rather than its 'foundation in reason'. Hume thinks that if we consider only the causes of religious belief, we are provided with a reason to suspend the belief. I seek to explain why this is so, and what role the argument plays in Hume's wider campaign against the rational acceptability of religious belief. In particular, I argue that the work threatens (...)
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  • In Gods We Trust: The Evolutionary Landscape of Religion.Scott Atran - 2002 - Oup Usa.
    This ambitious, interdisciplinary book seeks to explain the origins of religion using our knowledge of the evolution of cognition. A cognitive anthropologist and psychologist, Scott Atran argues that religion is a by-product of human evolution just as the cognitive intervention, cultural selection, and historical survival of religion is an accommodation of certain existential and moral elements that have evolved in the human condition.
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  • Intuitive Conceptions of Dead Agents' Minds: The Natural Foundations of Afterlife Beliefs as Phenomenological Boundary.Jesse Bering - 2002 - Journal of Cognition and Culture 2 (4):263-308.
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  • The Spread of Non-Natural Concepts.Anders Lisdorf - 2004 - Journal of Cognition and Culture 4 (1):151-173.
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  • A Treatise of Human Nature.David Hume & A. D. Lindsay - 1958 - Philosophical Quarterly 8 (33):379-380.
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  • High Anxiety: Barnes on What Moves the Unwelcome Believer.Dion Scott-Kakures - 2001 - Philosophical Psychology 14 (3):313 – 326.
    Wishful thinking and self-deception are instances of motivated believing. According to an influential view, the motivated believer is moved by the pursuit of pleasure and the avoidance of pain; i.e. the motive of the motivated believer is strictly hedonic--typically, the reduction of anxiety. This anxiety reduction account would, however, appear to face a serious challenge: cases of unwelcome motivated believing [Barnes (1997) Seeing through self-deception, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press; Scott-Kakures (2000) Motivated believing: wishful and unwelcome, Nous, 34, 348-375] or "twisted" (...)
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  • The Cognitive and Evolutionary Psychology of Religion.Joseph Bulbulia - 2004 - Biology and Philosophy 19 (5):655-686.
    The following reviews recent developments in the cognitive and evolutionary psychology of religion, and argues for an adaptationist stance.
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  • On Seeing Human: A Three-Factor Theory of Anthropomorphism.Nicholas Epley, Adam Waytz & John T. Cacioppo - 2007 - Psychological Review 114 (4):864-886.
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  • Cognitive Templates for Religious Concepts: Cross‐Cultural Evidence for Recall of Counter‐Intuitive Representations.Pascal Boyer & Charles Ramble - 2001 - Cognitive Science 25 (4):535-564.
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  • Faces in the Clouds: A New Theory of Religion.Stewart Guthrie - 1993 - Oup Usa.
    Guthrie contends that religion can best be understood as systematic anthropomorphism - the attribution of human characteristics to nonhuman things and events. Religion, he says, consists of seeing the world as human like. He offers a fascinating array of examples to show how this strategy pervades secular life and how it characterizes religious experience.
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  • The Naturalness of Religious Ideas: A Cognitive Theory of Religion.Pascal BOYER - 1994
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  • Religion's Evolutionary Landscape: Counterintuition, Commitment, Compassion, Communion.Scott Atran & Ara Norenzayan - 2004 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 27 (6):713-730.
    Religion is not an evolutionary adaptation per se, but a recurring by-product of the complex evolutionary landscape that sets cognitive, emotional and material conditions for ordinary human interactions. Religion involves extraordinary use of ordinary cognitive processes to passionately display costly devotion to counterintuitive worlds governed by supernatural agents. The conceptual foundations of religion are intuitively given by task-specific panhuman cognitive domains, including folkmechanics, folkbiology, folkpsychology. Core religious beliefs minimally violate ordinary notions about how the world is, with all of its (...)
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  • A Treatise of Human Nature: Being an Attempt to Introduce the Experimental Method of Reasoning Into Moral Subjects.David Hume & D. G. C. Macnabb (eds.) - 1738 - Collins.
    A Treatise of Human Nature, David Hume's comprehensive attempt to base philosophy on a new, observationally grounded study of human nature, is one of the most important texts in Western philosophy. It is also the focal point of current attempts to understand 18th-century western philosophy. The Treatise addresses many of the most fundamental philosophical issues: causation, existence, freedom and necessity, and morality. The volume also includes Humes own abstract of the Treatise, a substantial introduction, extensive annotations, a glossary, a comprehensive (...)
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  • Self-Deception and the Nature of Mind.Mark Johnston - 1995 - In C. Macdonald (ed.), Philosophy of Psychology: Debates on Psychological Explanation. Cambridge: Blackwell. pp. 63--91.
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  • Simulation Constraints, Afterlife Beliefs, and Common-Sense Dualism.V. Antony Michael - 2006 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 29 (5):462-463.
    Simulation constraints cannot help in explaining afterlife beliefs in general because belief in an afterlife is a precondition for running a simulation. Instead, an explanation may be found by examining more deeply our common-sense dualistic conception of the mind or soul.
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  • The Folk Psychology of Souls.Jesse M. Bering - 2006 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 29 (5):453-+.
    The present article examines how people’s belief in an afterlife, as well as closely related supernatural beliefs, may open an empirical backdoor to our understanding of the evolution of human social cognition. Recent findings and logic from the cognitive sciences contribute to a novel theory of existential psychology, one that is grounded in the tenets of Darwinian natural selection. Many of the predominant questions of existential psychology strike at the heart of cognitive science. They involve: causal attribution (why is mortal (...)
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  • Seeing Through Self-Deception.Annette Barnes - 1997 - New York: Cambridge University Press.
    What is it to deceive someone? And how is it possible to deceive oneself? Does self-deception require that people be taken in by a deceitful strategy that they know is deceitful? The literature is divided between those who argue that self-deception is intentional and those who argue that it is non-intentional. In this study, Annette Barnes offers a challenge to both the standard characterisation of other-deception and current characterizations of self-deception, examining the available explanations and exploring such questions as the (...)
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  • Exploring the Natural Foundations of Religion.Justin L. Barrett - 2000 - Trends in Cognitive Sciences 4 (1):29-34.
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  • Motivated Believing: Wishful and Unwelcome.Dion Scott‐Kakures - 2000 - Noûs 34 (3):348–375.
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  • Hume's Project in ‘The Natural History of Religion’.Lorne Falkenstein - 2003 - Religious Studies 39 (1):1-21.
    There are good reasons to think that at least a part of Hume's project in the ‘The natural history of religion’ was to buttress a philosophical critique of the reasonableness of religious belief undertaken in other works, and to attack a fundamentalist account of the history of religion and the foundations of morality. But there are also problems with supposing that Hume intended to achieve either of these goals. I argue that two problems in particular – accounting for Hume's neglect (...)
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  • Why Immortality Alone Will Not Get Me to the Afterlife.K. Mitch Hodge - 2011 - Philosophical Psychology 24 (3):395 - 410.
    Recent research in the cognitive science of religion suggests that humans intuitively believe that others survive death. In response to this finding, three cognitive theories have been offered to explain this: the simulation constraint theory (Bering, 2002); the imaginative obstacle theory (Nichols, 2007); and terror management theory (Pyszczynski, Rothschild, & Abdollahi, 2008). First, I provide a critical analysis of each of these theories. Second, I argue that these theories, while perhaps explaining why one would believe in his own personal immortality, (...)
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  • Memory and Mystery: The Cultural Selection of Minimally Counterintuitive Narratives.Ara Norenzayan, Scott Atran, Jason Faulkner & Mark Schaller - 2006 - Cognitive Science 30 (3):531-553.
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  • Wishful Thinking and Self-Deception.Bela Szabados - 1973 - Analysis 33 (June):201-205.
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  • Natural Belief and the Enigma of Hume.Ronald J. Butler - 1960 - Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie 42 (1):73-100.
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  • The Riddle of Hume's Treatise: Skepticism, Naturalism, and Irreligion.Paul Russell - 2008 - New York: Oxford University Press.
    Although it is widely recognized that David Hume's A Treatise of Human Nature (1739-40) belongs among the greatest works of philosophy, there is little agreement about the correct way to interpret his fundamental intentions. It is an established orthodoxy among almost all commentators that skepticism and naturalism are the two dominant themes in this work. The difficulty has been, however, that Hume's skeptical arguments and commitments appear to undermine and discredit his naturalistic ambition to contribute to "the science of man". (...)
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  • Of Superstition and Enthusiasm.David Hume - unknown
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  • Four Arguments That the Cognitive Psychology of Religion Undermines the Justification of Religious Belief.Michael J. Murray - manuscript
    Over the last decade a handful of cognitive models of religious belief have begun to coalesce in the literature. Attempts to offer “scientific explanations of religious belief ” are nothing new, stretching back at least as far as David Hume, and perhaps as far back as Cicero. What is also not new is a belief that scientific explanations of religious belief serve in some way to undermine the justification for those beliefs.
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  • Hume's Philosophy of Religion.J. C. A. Gaskin & Robin Attfield - 1980 - Philosophy 55 (212):267-270.
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  • Cognitive Science and the Naturalness of Religion.Robert N. McCauley & Emma Cohen - 2010 - Philosophy Compass 5 (9):779-792.
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  • Hume's Philosophy of Religion.J. C. A. Gaskin - 1979 - Philosophical Quarterly 29 (116):265-266.
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  • Social Psychology: Handbook of Basic Principles.D. Miller, D. A. Prentice, T. Higgins & A. Kruglanski - 1996 - In E. E. Higgins & A. Kruglanski (eds.), Social Psychology: Handbook of Basic Principles. Guilford.
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  • Supernatural Agents: Why We Believe in Souls, Gods, and Buddhas.Iikka Pyysiainen - 2009 - Oxford University Press USA.
    The cognitive science of religion is a rapidly growing field whose practitioners apply insights from advances in cognitive science in order to provide a better understanding of religious impulses, beliefs, and behaviors. In this book Ilkka Pyysiäinen shows how this methodology can profitably be used in the comparative study of beliefs about superhuman agents. He begins by developing a theoretical outline of the basic, modular architecture of the human mind and especially the human capacity to understand agency. He then goes (...)
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  • How We Know What Isn't so the Fallibility of Human Reason in Everyday Life.Thomas Gilovich - 1993
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  • Hume's Philosophy of Religion.J. C. A. Gaskin - 1988 - Humanities Press.
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  • Bringing Ritual to Mind: Psychological Foundations of Cultural Forms.Robert N. McCauley - 2002 - Cambridge University Press.
    Bringing Ritual to Mind explores the cognitive and psychological foundations of religious ritual systems. Participants must recall their rituals well enough to ensure a sense of continuity across performances, and those rituals must motivate them to transmit and re-perform them. Most religious rituals the world over exploit either high performance frequency or extraordinary emotional stimulation to enhance their recollection. But why do some rituals exploit the first of these variables while others exploit the second? McCauley and Lawson advance the ritual (...)
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  • Timescale Bias in the Attribution of Mind.Daniel Wegner - manuscript
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  • Conceptualizing a Nonnatural Entity: Anthropomorphism in God Concepts.Frank Keil - manuscript
    We investigate the problem of how nonnatural entities are represented by examining university students’ concepts of God, both professed theological beliefs and concepts used in comprehension of narratives. In three story processing tasks, subjects often used an anthropomorphic God concept that is inconsistent with stated theological beliefs; and drastically distorted the narratives without any awareness of doing so. By heightening subjects’ awareness of their theological beliefs, we were able to manipulate the degree of anthropomorphization. This tendency to anthropomorphize may be (...)
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  • Religion Explained: The Evolutionary Origins of Religious Thought.Pascal Boyer - 2001 - Basic Books.
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  • Hume's "Inexplicable Mystery": His Views on Religion.Keith E. Yandell - 1990 - Temple University Press.
    Author note: Keith E. Yandell is Professor of Philosophy and South Asian Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
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  • Hume on Superstition.Martin Bell - 1999 - In D. Z. Phillips & Timothy Tessin (eds.), Religion and Hume's Legacy. St. Martin's Press, Scholarly and Reference Division. pp. 153--70.
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