cognition
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How it evolved, what we do with it, futures; And otherwise interesting stuff
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Constructing Religion without The Social: Durkheim, Latour, and Extended Cognition

Constructing Religion without The Social: Durkheim, Latour, and Extended Cognition | cognition | Scoop.it
Here is the intro to Matthew's article: Where does thinking happen? The obvious and most common answer is “somewhere inside the head.” After all, this is where the brain is safely housed behind sev...
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So, in what follows, I am prepared to sin boldly and specify how an appreciation for the cognitive phenomenon of extended mind could transform the academic study of religion. In the first section I examine what is perhaps the first and most influential externalist account of religion: Emile Durkheim’s Elementary Forms of the Religious Life ([1912] 1995). I draw attention to his strategy for anchoring the categories of human cognition in the material practices of a given society. In the next section I turn to another French sociologist, Bruno Latour, in the hopes of finding a theoretical conversation partner who can help me out of my predicament. I review Latour’s ongoing attempt to displace the metaphysical assumptions that have been an essential and worrying feature of the social category since Durkheim. In the third section I emphasize how Latour explicitly invokes models of situated and extended cognition to make sense of how collectives and agents are constructed without appeals to the social. In the final section I propose two ways in which the portrait of distributed, embodied, and embedded cognition—aided by a generous amount of prodding from Latour’s project—may reorient the study of religion in fruitful ways.

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Beyond Belief: Science, Religion, Reason and Survival

Beyond Belief: Science, Religion, Reason and Survival | cognition | Scoop.it
The event was conceived as a response to the efforts of the Templeton Foundation to reconcile science with religion, according to its underwriter Robert Ze
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The Evolution of Religion

The Evolution of Religion | cognition | Scoop.it
The guests are the authors of two innovative books on the subject. "In The Faith Instinct"'s Nicholas Wade of the New York Times examines the scientific ev
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Taking a perspective rooted in evolutionary biology with a focus on brain science, they elucidate the perennial questions about religion: What is its purpose? How did it arise? What is its source? Why does every known culture have some form of it?

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McKenna, Abraham, Sheldrake - The Evolutionary Mind (1/3)

Terence McKenna, Ralph Abraham, Rupert Sheldrake - "The Evolutionary Mind" 1998
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Religion Without God by Ronald Dworkin | The New York Review of Books

Religion Without God by Ronald Dworkin | The New York Review of Books | cognition | Scoop.it
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The new religious wars are now really culture wars. They are not just about scientific history—about what best accounts for the development of the human species, for instance—but more fundamentally about the meaning of human life and what living well means.

As we shall see, logic requires a separation between the scientific and value parts of orthodox godly religion. When we separate these properly we discover that they are fully independent: the value part does not depend—cannot depend—on any god’s existence or history. If we accept this, then we formidably shrink both the size and the importance of the wars. They would no longer be culture wars. This ambition is utopian: violent and nonviolent religious wars reflect hatreds deeper than philosophy can address. But a little philosophy might help.

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