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Rejoinder: Response to Beit-Hallahmi and Watts

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image of Archive for the Psychology of Religion

Both Watts (this issue) and Beit-Hallahmi (this issue) are enthusiastic about attachment theory as an important contribution to the psychology of religion, but they raise very different criticisms regarding other aspects of the book. I respond to Beit-Hallahmi by defending my assertion that a scientific approach to psychology of religion need not lead to the conclusion, nor rest on the premise, that the beliefs under study are ontologically false. I argue further that this "veridicality trap" has deep roots in prevailing, deeply mistaken assumptions about how the mind/brain works, and show how an evolutionary approach clearly exposes such reasoning as fallacious and offers a powerful, alternative perspective on the problem. In response to Watts, I defend evolutionary psychology against the charge that it is not sufficiently empirical, and argue that the computational cognitive approach he prefers should be seen as complementary to an evolutionary approach rather than an alternative to it.


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