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Varför och hur konstruerar människor transcendentala entiteter: Står sig den kognitionsvetenskapliga religionsforskningens förklaring i en kognitivt neurovetenskaplig kontext?
University of Skövde, School of Bioscience. (Kognitiv neurovetenskap och filosofi)
2016 (Swedish)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Why is it that we humans have a tendency to construct transcendental entities? That is one of the big questions the scientific discipline Cognitive Science of Religion is trying to answer. In order to gain validation for the concepts used by this discipline neural correlates are needed. The aim of the present work is to investigate the concepts Hypersensitive Agency Detection Device ((H)ADD) and Theory of Mind (ToM) both in psychological, cognitive and neural aspects to see if those concepts are enough to explain the human tendencies to construct transcendental entities. This work is developed as philosophical a literature study and uses literature from the scientific disciplines of cognitive neuroscience, cognitive science of religion, cognitive science, neurotheology, psychology of religion and philosophy of religion. This means that the present work is interdisciplinary and stands on a bridge between the theoretical and empirical sciences. A word of caution: Regardless the findings this work presents, the explanatory value is limited as it is a theoretical study in an empirical scientific field. It is when the findings in this work are tested empirically that the findings sustainability are decided.             

What this work shows is that neural correlates for ToM already exist in the form of the Mirror Neuron-Theory (MNT), but it is problematic because it can not show how higher orders of representations are possible. No scientific data about neural correlates to (H)ADD has been found for this study, but here the amygdala may play a prominent role. Furthermore this work shows that (H)ADD and ToM is not enough to explain why humans have a tendency to construct transcendental entities. We are in need of peripheral cognitive mechanisms such as intuitive knowledge modules, ontological categories, teleological thinking, our drive to seek causal connections and our ability for pattern recognition.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. , 53 p.
Keyword [en]
Theory of Mind, Agency Detection Device, Hypersensitive Agency Detection Device, Cognitive science of religion, Religious experience
Keyword [sv]
Theory of Mind, Agency Detection Device, Hypersensitive Agency Detection Device, Kognitionsvetenskaplig religionsforskning, Religiös upplevelse
National Category
Other Natural Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:his:diva-12589OAI: diva2:942313
Subject / course
Cognitive Neuroscience
Educational program
Consciousness Studies - Philosophy and Neuropsychology
Available from: 2016-06-28 Created: 2016-06-23 Last updated: 2016-06-28Bibliographically approved

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