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Reflections on the Debate: What Does Philosophy Have to Do with the Cognitive Study of Religion?

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image of Method & Theory in the Study of Religion

Why should the study of religion in general and cognitive study of religion in particular be interested in philosophy in the first place, and vice versa? The paper offers some responses to the debate between John Shook and his respondents. It will suggest that such debates are useful, as it is a philosophical task to reflect upon the basic assumptions, inference patterns and theories of the study of religion. Furthermore, cognitive study of religion and other approaches in the study of religion should be of great interest to philosophers of religion. The paper puts the debate in a larger context of the dialogue of philosophy and cognitive science of religion and introduces two central themes: debates about psychological explanations and debunking arguments.

Affiliations: 1: Faculty of Theology Vuorikatu 3, p. o. Box 4, 00014 University of HelsinkiFinland


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