theory of mind

Mentalizing and Religion

Cognitive Science of Religion has sometimes been criticized for lack of empirical support. Jonathan Jong went as far as claiming that some theories are ‘notoriously under-determined by data’.

Suspicious Minds? Mentalizing, Religious Hypocrisy and Apostasy

I am interested in how displays by religious paragons which contradict expressed statements of belief may be uniquely corrosive to the religious certainty of believers. Put simply, ‘Theory of Mind’ (ToM) and its associated near-cognates (mentalizing, mind reading, social cognition) refer to the socially indispensable human capacity to attribute mental states to others, ...

Cognitive Science, Learning, and ‘Theory of Mind’

Whether Luhrmann's approach is "too cognitive" depends on how cognitive is defined. There is a narrow and a broader sense in which the term is used. As I have responded to Tanya Luhrmann’s book elsewhere and am on record in terms of thinking it makes a major contribution to the cognitive science of religion (CSR) both in terms of its argument and its use of mixed (ethnographic and experimental) methods, I decided that rather than recycling comments that I have already made,...

Having Coffee with God: Evangelical Interpretations of God as a Person Among People

Four decades ago, it would have seemed absurd to hear God characterized by American evangelical Christians in terms of personhood, with words such as audible, visible, or coffee-drinker. Characteristics attributed to God often indicate apotheosis—some quality beyond human understanding, beyond worldly constraints. Commonly used terms include supernatural, omnipotent, and incorporeal, to name a few. Four decades ago,
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