Sorting through, and sorting out, anthropomorphism in CSR

K. Mitch Hodge


This article reviews and discusses the various ways by which researchers in the cognitive science of religion have empirically demonstrated that neurotypical humans (a.k.a., the folk) represent supernatural agents through the cognitive analogical processes of anthropomorphism. These include attributing a human-like mind, human-like physical and mental limitations, and human-like sociability. Additionally, the article points to several problematic issues that CSR must needs address, such as how to better demarcate when the folk are anthropomorphizing versus simply attributing agency, and how CSR’s insistence that the folk represents supernatural agents as disembodied minds places it at odds with the overwhelming and devastating evidence to the contrary.

Keywords: anthropomorphism, supernatural agent representations, theory of mind, embodiment.

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ISSN: 1984-8234 - Best viewed in Mozilla Firefox

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License [Updated on September 23, 2016].

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