- Optimal religion: optimality theory accounts for ritual dynamics
- Groningen studies in cultural change
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Humanities (FGw)
- Amsterdam Center for Language and Communication (ACLC)
In this paper, religious rituals, or religious actions in general, were seen as transactions between a human agent and a culturally postulated superhuman agent. We have hypothesised that the human agent maintains a behavioural grammar driving their own actions, as well as a theory of mind for each of their transaction partners, which also has similar form as a grammar. In the case of a superhuman transaction partner, this second grammar was called the intuitive theology. I have argued that the cognitive science of religion should develop formal models of these grammars in order to run simulations that will subsequently be able to account for the observable dynamics of religious rituals. However, before arriving at this stage, an adequate model of behavioural grammar and intuitive theology must be found.
- Proceedings title: Changing minds: religion and cognition through the ages
Place of publication: Leuven
Editors: I. Czachesz, T. Biró
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