He advocates the idea that human instincts provide us with the basis for an intuitive theory of mind that guides our social relations, morality, and predilections toward religious beliefs. Boyer and others propose that these innate mental systems make human beings predisposed to certain cultural elements such as belief in supernatural beings.
Boyer has conducted long term ethnographic fieldwork in Africa, where he studied the transmission of oral epics, and has held teaching and research positions at several universities.
- Tradition as Truth and Communication. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1992. ISBN 978-0-521-37417-0.
- The Naturalness of Religious Ideas: A Cognitive Theory of Religion. Berkeley: University of California Press. 1994. ISBN 978-0-520-07559-7.
- Religion Explained: The Evolutionary Origins of Religious Thought (2002) Basic Books. ISBN 0-465-00696-5.
- Memory Mind and Culture. Edited by Pascal Boyer and James V. Wertsch. New York: Cambridge University Pres. 2009.
- Cognitive Aspects Of Religious Symbolism. Edited by Pascal Boyer. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1992.
- Evolutionary origin of religions
- Evolutionary epistemology
- Evolutionary psychology
- Faith and rationality
- Relationship between religion and science
- Cognitive science of religion
- Evolutionary psychology of religion
Notes and references
- "Why Is Religion Natural?", Sceptical Inquirer, Volume 28.2, March/April 2004
- Book review: Religion Explained, by Pascal Boyer
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