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Mind-SocietyFrom Brains to Social Sciences and Professions$
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Paul Thagard

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190678722

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190678722.001.0001

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(p.201) 8 Anthropology

Paul Thagard

Oxford University Press

Descriptions of cultural practices can be enriched by understanding the cognitions and emotions occurring in the minds of the people enacting the practices. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is new enough that its historical developments and ongoing practices are well documented. To explain these developments and practices, this chapter describes the images, concepts, values, beliefs, rules, analogies, and emotions that are the most important mental representations operating in Mormon minds. These representations have a neural basis in semantic pointer processes of representation and binding, and they contribute to a variety of deductive, abductive, and emotional inferences. The social process by which Mormon beliefs and practices spread from one individual to another can best be understood as the results of semantic pointer communication carried out by interactions ranging from church rituals to missionary work.

Keywords:   anthropology, Church of Jesus Christ, Latter-day Saints, culture, emotion, religion, missionary, Mormon, ritual

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