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Why we believe : evolution and the human way of being

Author: Agustin Fuentes
Publisher: New Haven : Yale University Press ; [West Conshohocken, PA] : Templeton Press, [2019] ©2019
Series: Foundational questions in science.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
"Why are so many humans religious? Why do we daydream, imagine, and hope? Philosophers, theologians, social scientists, and historians have offered explanations for centuries, but their accounts often ignore or even avoid human evolution. Evolutionary scientists answer with proposals for why ritual, religion, and faith make sense as adaptations to past challenges or as by-products of our hyper-complex cognitive  Read more...
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Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Agustin Fuentes
ISBN: 9780300243994 0300243995
OCLC Number: 1089958793
Description: xiv, 266 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm.
Contents: Preface: Why we believe --
Part 1: Who are we and how did we come to believe? 1. Belief, evolution, and our place in the world ; 2. What makes us human? ; 3. Constructing the human niche ; 4. Animals, plants, buildings, and pottery --
Part 2: How do we believe? 5. What is culture? ; 6. How culture works --
Part 3: Religion, economies, love, and our future. 7. Why we believe versus what we believe ; 8. Religion ; 9. Economies ; 10. Love ; 11. Does belief matter?
Series Title: Foundational questions in science.
Responsibility: Agustin Fuentes.

Abstract:

"Why are so many humans religious? Why do we daydream, imagine, and hope? Philosophers, theologians, social scientists, and historians have offered explanations for centuries, but their accounts often ignore or even avoid human evolution. Evolutionary scientists answer with proposals for why ritual, religion, and faith make sense as adaptations to past challenges or as by-products of our hyper-complex cognitive capacities. But what if the focus on religion is too narrow? Renowned anthropologist Agustín Fuentes argues that the capacity to be religious is actually a small part of a larger and deeper human capacity to believe. Why believe in religion, economies, love? A fascinating intervention into some of the most common misconceptions about human nature, this book employs evolutionary, neurobiological, and anthropological evidence to argue that belief--the ability to commit passionately and wholeheartedly to an idea--is central to the human way of being in the world."--

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