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Supernatural AgentsWhy We Believe in Souls, Gods, and Buddhas$
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Ilkka Pyysiäinen

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195380026

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195380026.001.0001

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Mind Your Heads

Mind Your Heads

(p.43) 2 Mind Your Heads
Supernatural Agents

Ilkka Pyysiäinen

Oxford University Press

Supernatural agent representations are mental concepts, whereas texts, uttered words, and so forth are extramental, public representations. They express mental representations. Public representations also trigger mental representations. Knowledge is called “shared” when ideas in individual minds can be seen as differing versions of each other. Traditions, cultures, and religions are abstractions based on the observed overlap in mental and public representations. They are not entities with an essence. “Religions” are abstractions based on the observed overlap in both mental and public representations, not classes with an essence.

Keywords:   mental representations, public representations, shared knowledge, culture, tradition

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