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Robert N. McCauley has written 8 work(s)
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Cover for 9780199827268 Cover for 9780199341542 Cover for 9780759106192 Cover for 9780759106185 Cover for 9780521815598 Cover for 9780521016292 Cover for 9780262133517 Cover for 9780881651126 Cover for 9780631189688 Cover for 9780631189695 Cover for 9780521373708 Cover for 9780521438063
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The battle between religion and science, competing methods of knowing ourselves and our world, has been raging for many centuries. Now scientists themselves are looking at cognitive foundations of religion--and arriving at some surprising conclusions. Over the course of the past two decades, scholars have employed insights gleaned from cognitive science, evolutionary biology, and related disciplines to illuminate the study of religion. In Why Religion is Natural and Science Is Not, Robert N. McCauley, one of the founding fathers of the cognitive science of religion, argues that our minds are better suited to religious belief than to scientific inquiry. Drawing on the latest research and illustrating his argument with commonsense examples, McCauley argues that religion has existed for many thousands of years in every society because the kinds of explanations it provides are precisely the kinds that come naturally to human minds. Science, on the other hand, is a much more recent and rare development because it reaches radical conclusions and requires a kind of abstract thinking that only arises consistently under very specific social conditions. Religion makes intuitive sense to us, while science requires a lot of work. McCauley then draws out the larger implications of these findings. The naturalness of religion, he suggests, means that science poses no real threat to it, while the unnaturalness of science puts it in a surprisingly precarious position. Rigorously argued and elegantly written, this provocative book will appeal to anyone interested in the ongoing debate between religion and science, and in the nature and workings of the human mind.

Hardcover:

9780199827268 | Oxford Univ Pr, November 1, 2011, cover price $33.95 | About this edition: The battle between religion and science, competing methods of knowing ourselves and our world, has been raging for many centuries.

Paperback:

9780199341542 | Oxford Univ Pr, October 1, 2013, cover price $23.95

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This study explores the psychological foundations of religious ritual systems. In practice, participants recall rituals to ensure a sense of continuity across performances, and those rituals motivate them to transmit and re-perform them. Most religious rituals exploit either high performance frequency or extraordinary emotional stimulation to enhance their recollection. Robert N. McCauley and E. Thomas Lawson assert that participants' cognitive representations of ritual form explain much about the systems. Reviewing a wide range of evidence, they explain religions' evolution. (view table of contents)

Hardcover:

9780521815598 | Cambridge Univ Pr, September 2, 2002, cover price $87.99 | About this edition: This study explores the psychological foundations of religious ritual systems.

Paperback:

9780521016292 | Cambridge Univ Pr, October 1, 2002, cover price $34.99

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Paperback:

9780881651126 | Princeton Univ Intl Economics, November 1, 1997, cover price $5.00

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Product Description: The influence of Patricia and Paul Churchland's work on contemporary philosophy and cognitive science has been profound. The Churchlands have challenged nearly all prevailing doctrines concerning knowledge, mind, science, and language.
By Robert N. McCauley (editor)

Hardcover:

9780631189688 | Blackwell Pub, May 1, 1996, cover price $61.95 | About this edition: The influence of Patricia and Paul Churchland's work on contemporary philosophy and cognitive science has been profound.

Paperback:

9780631189695 | Blackwell Pub, May 1, 1996, cover price $51.95 | About this edition: The influence of Patricia and Paul Churchland's work on contemporary philosophy and cognitive science has been profound.

cover image for 9780521438063
This book develops a cognitive approach to religion. Focusing particularly on ritual action, it borrows analytical methods from linguistics and other cognitive sciences. The authors provide a lucid, critical review of established approaches to the study of religion, and make a strong plea for the combination of interpretation and explanation. Often represented as competitive approaches, they are, rather, complementary and equally vital to the study of symbolic systems. Rethinking Religion deals with the relationship between cognition and culture in a novel manner, and introduces a method of analysis that will have many applications.

Hardcover:

9780521373708 | 1 edition (Cambridge Univ Pr, March 30, 1990), cover price $54.95 | About this edition: This book develops a cognitive approach to religion.

Paperback:

9780521438063 | Reprint edition (Cambridge Univ Pr, March 1, 1993), cover price $59.99

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