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Magic and the MindMechanisms, Functions, and Development of Magical Thinking and Behavior$
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Eugene Subbotsky

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780195393873

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195393873.001.0001

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Magical Thinking and the Mind

Magical Thinking and the Mind

(p.132) 11 Magical Thinking and the Mind
Magic and the Mind

Eugene Subbotsky

Oxford University Press

Chapter 11 (“Magical Thinking and the Mind”) takes a broader look at what place magical thinking occupies in the whole of an individual's mind, particularly in relation to scientific and religious thinking. It argues that the mind consists of two major types of reality: ordinary and magical. Whereas science is in the realm of ordinary reality, magic and religion are in the realm of magical reality. Various functions of magical reality are discussed, and the concept of existentialization is introduced. Existentialization is the process that separates magical reality from ordinary reality within an individual's mind. Various applications of the concept of existentialization to other domains of cognitive development (such as “theory of mind” and “appearance–reality distinction”) are considered. An overview of the development of existentialization across the lifespan is also given.

Keywords:   mind, magical reality, magic and religion, existentialization, theory of mind

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