Chapter

Physicalism

James W. Jones

in Can Science Explain Religion?

Published in print January 2016 | ISBN: 9780190249380
Published online September 2015 | e-ISBN: 9780190249410 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190249380.003.0004
Physicalism

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Debunkers of religion seem to think that physicalism is synonymous with science. This chapter questions that account of physicalism, moving directly into a confrontation, not with cognitive science, but with those who think the findings of cognitive science undermine religion and make its beliefs less compelling. It argues that the debunking assertions about religion go far beyond the actual scientific data in cognitive science, and that this move is reasonable only in a purely physicalist framework. Several reasons are offered as to why a purely physicalist framework may not be so compelling and is not synonymous with science. The chapter also discusses the possible limits on evolutionary theory in providing additional explanatory power in relation to religion and other cultural institutions.

Keywords: debunking of religion; new atheists; naturalism; materialism; reductive physicalism

Chapter.  13004 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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