Browsing All Posts filed under »explanation«

Scientific presuppositions and the supernatural

June 24, 2010


In the discussion of my interview (linked to in the previous post) one of the readers suggests that I think science must presuppose naturalism on, what I gather is being suggested, something like faith. This is, of course, nonsense but it is very popular nonsense and is based upon a couple of misconceptions concerning science […]

Explaining Religion conference site

March 28, 2010


The website for the Explaining Religion conference in Bristol this September is now up. The list of speakers is absolutely first-rate: Jesse Bering (QUB) E.Thomas Lawson (West Michigan, QUB) Susan Blackmore (Plymouth) Paul Harris (Harvard) Christine Mohr (Bristol) Joe Henrich (UBC) Simon Blackburn (Cambridge) Rita Astuti (LSE) Nicholas Humphrey (LSE) Justin Barrett (Oxford) Konrad Talmont-Kaminski […]

A couple of older posts about religion

February 6, 2010


I am getting ready to head off to Budapest, where I am going to give a talk to the Philosophy crowd at the Central European University this Tuesday. I have been trawling the net for some things and come across again a couple of posts about religion that I found most interesting when I’d originally […]

Supernatural explanations

November 29, 2008


My course on superstitions has reached chapter seven of my yet-to-be-finished book. In that chapter I discuss the kinds of explanations that appear in superstitions. To help my students understand explanations I have directed them to the article on explanations in the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. The article was written by a friend of mine, […]

Outline of In a Mirror, Darkly: How Superstitions Reflect Rationality

March 14, 2008


As part of my report on what I have done at the KLI over the last few months I had to write an outline of the book I’m working on. This helped me to clarify some of my ideas while making it obvious to me what other things I still need to think a bit […]

Truth, superstition and explanation

March 1, 2008


Bart Swiatczak wrote in a comment: I believe that being superstitious about something has nothing to do with being right or wrong about a causal relationship. It is rather a matter of justification why this causal relationship holds. I think that Bart and I are basically in agreement – the often used definition of superstition […]

Coming back to explanation

February 6, 2008


I find that in my research on superstition I keep coming back to the role played by explanations and keep finding that I simply do not know enough about the psychology of explanation. It appears to me that a very important element of what superstitions are about is related to how superstitious explanations are treated […]