Sunday, March 05, 2006
The Folk Psychology of Souls
From the abstract of an article by J. M. Bering, currently under review and to be published in Behavioral and Brain Research (copyright Cambridge Univ. Press. PDF or WORD download here) : "the present article examines how ... 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. ......The central thesis of the present article is that an organized cognitive system dedicated to forming illusory representations of (i) psychological immortality, (ii) the intelligent design of the self, and (iii) the symbolic meaning of natural events evolved in response to the unique selective pressures of the human social environment. "