Frank Keil – Order, Order Everywhere and Not an Agent to Think: The Cognitive Compulsion to Make the Argument from Design

                                                          

Event Date: 28 March 2013
Room B36
Birkbeck Main Building
Birkbeck, University of London
Malet Street
London WC1E 7HX

The Department of Philosophy at Birkbeck presents:

Mind & Language Conference at Birkbeck College

The Cognitive Science of Religion

Of the wide variety of real word situations that prompt inferences of unseen agents, various patterns of order may play a unique role. Certain kinds of order may prompt  beliefs in particular kinds of intelligent agents.  A developmental model is proposed in which infants first detect animacy, then goal directed agents and then infer intelligent agents from observing events where a scene goes from less order to greater order. It may then take several years and the development of considerable real world knowledge before certain static ordered configurations elicit  comparable intuitions of agency. Finally, all these factors may build towards the emergence of argument from design inferences in some older children and adults.

 Professor Frank Keil (Yale) – Order, Order Everywhere and Not an Agent to Think: The Cognitive Compulsion to Make the Argument from Design
Chair: Margaret Harris (Oxford Brookes)

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