THE BELIEF INSTINCT

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The Belief Instinct The Psychology Of Souls Destiny And The Meaning Of Life

Author : Jesse Bering
ISBN : 9780393080414
Genre : Psychology
File Size : 35.34 MB
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Top 25 Books of 2011 by the American Library Association, Choice Reviews Named one of the 11 Best Psychology Books of 2011 by The Atlantic "A balanced and considered approach to this often inflammatory topic." —Nature Lively and brilliantly argued, The Belief Instinct explains the psychology behind belief. Drawing on surprising new studies as well as on literature, philosophy, and even pop culture, The Belief Instinct will reward readers with an enlightened understanding of belief—as well as the tools to break free of it.
Category: Psychology

The Medieval Discovery Of Nature

Author : Steven Epstein
ISBN : 9781107026452
Genre : History
File Size : 76.45 MB
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This book examines the relationship between humans and nature that evolved in medieval Europe over the course of a millennium. From the beginning, people lived in nature and discovered things about it. Ancient societies bequeathed to the Middle Ages both the Bible and a pagan conception of natural history. These conflicting legacies shaped medieval European ideas about the natural order and what economic, moral, and biological lessons it might teach. This book analyzes five themes found in medieval views of nature - grafting, breeding mules, original sin, property rights, and disaster - to understand what some medieval people found in nature and what their assumptions and beliefs kept them from seeing.
Category: History

Ritual Play And Belief In Evolution And Early Human Societies

Author : Colin Renfrew
ISBN : 9781108547512
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 61.61 MB
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The origins of religion and ritual in humans have been the focus of centuries of thought in archaeology, anthropology, theology, evolutionary psychology and more. Play and ritual have many aspects in common, and ritual is a key component of the early cult practices that underlie the religious systems of societies in all parts of the world. This book examines the formative cults and the roots of religious practice from the earliest times until the development of early religion in the Near East, in China, in Peru, in Mesoamerica and beyond. Here, leading prehistorians, biologists, and other specialists bring a fresh approach to the early practices that underlie the faiths and religions of the world. They demonstrate the profound role of play ritual and belief systems and offer powerful new insights into the emergence of early societies.
Category: Social Science

Why Is The Penis Shaped Like That

Author : Jesse Bering
ISBN : 9781429955102
Genre : Science
File Size : 76.70 MB
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Why do testicles hang the way they do? Is there an adaptive function to the female orgasm? What does it feel like to want to kill yourself? Does "free will" really exist? And why is the penis shaped like that anyway? In Why Is the Penis Shaped Like That?, the research psychologist and award-winning columnist Jesse Bering features more than thirty of his most popular essays from Scientific American and Slate, as well as two new pieces, that take readers on a bold and captivating journey through some of the most taboo issues related to evolution and human behavior. Exploring the history of cannibalism, the neurology of people who are sexually attracted to animals, the evolution of human body fluids, the science of homosexuality, and serious questions about life and death, Bering astutely covers a generous expanse of our kaleidoscope of quirks and origins. With his characteristic irreverence and trademark cheekiness, Bering leaves no topic unturned or curiosity unexamined, and he does it all with an audaciously original voice. Whether you're interested in the psychological history behind the many facets of sexual desire or the evolutionary patterns that have dictated our current mystique and phallic physique, Why Is the Penis Shaped Like That? is bound to create lively discussion and debate for years to come.
Category: Science

What Is Religion

Author : Jeppe Sinding Jensen
ISBN : 9781317545996
Genre : Religion
File Size : 78.54 MB
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Religious belief is one of the most pervasive and ubiquitous characteristics of human society. Religion has shadowed and illuminated human lives since primitive times, shaping the world views of cultures from isolated tribes to vast empires. Starting from the premise that religion is a concept which can be analysed and compared across time and cultures, What is Religion? brings the most up-to-date scholarship to bear on humankind’s most enduring creation. The book opens with a brief history of the idea of religion, then divides the study of religion into four essential topics - types, representations, practices, and institutions – and concludes with a final, eye-opening chapter on religion today. Packed with case studies from a wide range of religions, past and present, What is Religion? offers a very current, comprehensive, yet intellectually challenging overview of the history, theories, practices, and study of religion. Accessible, wide-ranging, engaging, and short, What is Religion? is written primarily for undergraduate students in the study of religion, but it will also be invaluable for students of anthropology, history, psychology, sociology, and theology as well as anyone interested in how and why humans came and continue to be religious.
Category: Religion

Judaic Technologies Of The Word

Author : Gabriel Levy
ISBN : 9781317543442
Genre : Religion
File Size : 44.95 MB
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Judaic Technologies of the Word argues that Judaism does not exist in an abstract space of reflection. Rather, it exists both in artifacts of the material world - such as texts - and in the bodies, brains, hearts, and minds of individual people. More than this, Judaic bodies and texts, both oral and written, connect and feed back on one another. Judaic Technologies of the Word examines how technologies of literacy interact with bodies and minds over time. The emergence of literacy is now understood to be a decisive factor in religious history, and is central to the transformations that took place in the ancient Near East in the first millennium BCE. This study employs insights from the cognitive sciences to pursue a deep history of Judaism, one in which the distinctions between biology and culture begin to disappear.
Category: Religion

Thinking About Thinking

Author : Philip E. McDowell
ISBN : 9781317584100
Genre : Psychology
File Size : 75.56 MB
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This book examines cognition with a broad and comprehensive approach. Drawing upon the work of many researchers, McDowell applies current scientific thinking to enhance the understanding of psychotherapy and other contemporary topics, including economics and healthcare. Through the use of practical examples, his analysis is accessible to a wide range of readers. In particular, clinicians, physicians, and mental health professionals will learn more about the thought processes through which they and their patients assess information.
Category: Psychology

Perv

Author : Jesse Bering
ISBN : 9781448171217
Genre : Psychology
File Size : 74.27 MB
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In this eye-opening book, psychologist Jesse Bering argues that we are all sexual deviants on one level or another. He introduces us to the young woman who falls madly in love with the Eiffel Tower, a young man addicted to seductive sneezes, and a pair of deeply affectionate identical twins, among others. He challenges us to move beyond our attitudes towards ‘deviant’ sex and consider the alternative: what would happen if we rise above our fears and revulsions and accept our true natures? With his signature wit and irreverent style, Bering pulls back the curtains on the history of perversions, the biological reasons behind our distaste for unusual sexual proclivities and the latest research on desire. Armed with reason, science and an insatiable appetite for knowledge, he humanises deviants while asking some provocative questions about the nature of hypocrisy, prejudice and when sexual desire can lead to harm. A groundbreaking look at our complex relationship with our carnal urges and the ways in which we disguise, deny and shame the sexual deviant in all of us, Perv brings hidden desires into the spotlight.
Category: Psychology

The Existence Of God And The Faith Instinct

Author : Howard P. Kainz
ISBN : 9781575911434
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 49.30 MB
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Responding to the rash of books supporting a "new atheism" in recent years, some excellent rebuttals and refutations by Berlinski, Novak, Hart, Day, and others have also been published. The present book, however, is not a continuation of these critical salvos against the likes of Dawkins, Hitchens, Dennett, and Harris, but engages in a fresh reexamination of several important aspects of the "God-question," along with an exploration of the theory of the "faith-instinct"---a theory that emerges from a respectably long tradition, but in recent years has been largely relegated to the sidelines in theology and philosophy. In the first chapter, scientific, metaphysical, and theological approaches are utilized and integrated in relationship to the question of God's existence. The second chapter is devoted to the "problem of evil," differentiated into the special categories often lumped into that all-too-generic term---moral evils, natural evils, suffering as an evil. Chapter 3 concerns the obvious follow-up question concerning what sort of characteristics, personal or otherwise, we can attribute to God---going beyond the question of God's mere "existence," even if and when we are intellectually convinced of this existence. In the second half of the book, the various meanings of "faith" are considered; and the apparent discrepancy of many New Testament descriptions of faith with the conventional Catholic and Protestant concepts of faith is investigated. Some "family resemblances" of supernatural faith seem to emerge. Then a monograph by Tubingen theologian Max Seckler, Instinkt und Glaubenswille ("Instinct and the Will to Believe"), which comments on thought-provoking texts concerning a "faith-instinct" in the works of Thomas Aquinas, is considered; Seckler brings out the philosophical and theological basis for this concept, as well as its reverberations for modern theology. The theory of a faith-instinct, however, leads to the question of the proper and improper, real or substitute, "objects," of the proposed instinct. Finally, if this instinct is, as hypothesized, implanted in human nature itself, for all places and all times, what is the function of the various religions in "activating" or placing obstacles to, the activation of this instinct? How are "false prophets," who may be instrumental in redirecting or misdirecting this instinct, to be recognized? Is faith bolstered or hindered by miracles---do miracles have any important relationship to faith? The book ends with a final consideration of the probable mental outlook of the atheist confronted with claims by theists of varying persuasions.
Category: Philosophy