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Philosophy of PseudoscienceReconsidering the Demarcation Problem$
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Massimo Pigliucci and Maarten Boudry

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780226051796

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226051826.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 11 April 2021

Evolved to Be Irrational?

Evolved to Be Irrational?

Evolutionary and Cognitive Foundations of Pseudosciences

(p.361) 19 Evolved to Be Irrational?
Philosophy of Pseudoscience

Stefaan Blancke

Johan De Smedt

University of Chicago Press

This chapter examines how an evolutionary and cognitive perspective might shed light on the pervasiveness and popularity of irrational beliefs that make up pseudosciences. It first sets up the general theoretical framework, explaining what an evolutionary and cognitive approach entails. Second, it explores how this framework adds to our understanding of why the human mind is so vulnerable to systematic reasoning errors. Third, it demonstrates how concrete pseudosciences tap into particular cognitive dispositions. Fourth, it explains why a number of irrational beliefs take on the form of pseudosciences. The chapter concludes with a discussion of how the evolution of the mind relates to human (ir)rationality.

Keywords:   evolutionary perspective, cognitive perspective, irrational beliefs, pseudoscience, human mind, cognitive dispositions

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