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Evolution, Religion, and Cognitive ScienceCritical and Constructive Essays$
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Fraser Watts and Léon P. Turner

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199688081

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199688081.001.0001

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Introduction: Pluralism and Complexity in the Evolutionary Cognitive Science of Religion

Introduction: Pluralism and Complexity in the Evolutionary Cognitive Science of Religion

Chapter:
(p.1) 1 Introduction: Pluralism and Complexity in the Evolutionary Cognitive Science of Religion
Source:
Evolution, Religion, and Cognitive Science
Author(s):

Léon Turner

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199688081.003.0001

This chapter has two main aims. First, to provide a glimpse of the great complexity and theoretical diversity of evolutionary cognitive science of religion (ECSR), and the range of criticisms it has attracted. Second, it briefly outlines the overall shape of the book. The complex heterogeneous nature of the field is demonstrated via a discussion of the debate over religion’s adaptiveness. This discussion also reveals the complexity of ECSR’s relationships with other evolutionary accounts of religion. Subsequently, it is suggested that ECSR has already addressed much of the general criticism it has attracted, and a need is identified for focused critical appraisals of specific aspects of ECSR. The chapter concludes by explaining a number of editorial decisions in planning the book, and describing the distinctive contributions to the field made by its various authors.

Keywords:   Cognitive Science, Standard model, theoretical pluralism, evolution of religion, by-product, adaptation, evolutionary psychology, mental modularity

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